Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays a new character that could be replacing Samuel L. Jackson in the MCU.
Portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson, Nick Fury was one of the earliest world-building characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He made his first appearance in the post-credits scene of 2008’s Iron Man, meeting Tony Stark at his Malibu home to discuss S.H.I.E.L.D’s Avengers Initiative. Since then he’s appeared in several movies within the franchise and is set to star in the Disney+ series, Secret Invasion. While it’s hard to imagine the MCU without him, executive producer Nate Moore said that Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina Allegra de Fontaine may be preparing to replace him.
The revelation was made in Marvel’s recently released, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: The Art of the Series. The book contains Moore’s thoughts on Val and her role within the shared universe. He also explained the process of casting Julia Louis-Dreyfus, highlighting the fun vibe that distinguishes the character from Fury. “The Countess Valentina Allegra de Fontaine is a character that has a rich publication history. And to some degree, figuring out who can fill those shoes, which in our mind is in a way taking the reins from Nick Fury, was tough,” Moore said via Collider.
“But when we thought of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, there was a fun energy to her that immediately makes you realize this person has a weight and gravity, but they’re not the same as Nick Fury. It’s a completely different energy,” Moore added. The Marvel boss went on to explain that Val could become a commanding presence and even a new leader in the MCU. “There’s a snark to the character that sets her apart from what’s come before. And yet you still feel like she commands the room. So if you’re talking about a new leader, to some degree, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we were very lucky to find Julia Louis-Dreyfus.”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus made her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in Disney’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. She was seen approaching U.S. Agent/John Walker after the Captain America hopeful lost his title and military rank. She was also the one who bestowed him with the name “U.S Agent” and gave him a new outfit. The character was next seen in Black Widow when she sent Yelena Belova after Clint Barton/Hawkeye, claiming he was responsible for Natasha Romanoff’s death in Avengers: Endgame.
Although her motives are still a mystery, Val seems to be in recruitment mode. There’s also a good chance she will make her next appearance in the recently announced Thunderbolts movie since the project is rumored to see the return of characters like U.S. Agent, Yelena, and Zemo. Meanwhile, Julia Louis-Dreyfus expressed her excitement about playing the “gray zone” Marvel character. She also said that Val is always three steps ahead of everyone else.
“There’s a lot of mystery in terms of her background, and whether she’s a good guy or a bad guy remains to be seen. She’s sort of living in a gray zone, Julia Louis-Dreyfus says in Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: The Art of the Series book. “And I like the idea of a female mastermind. I think it’s about time. I’m all in favor of it. And I’m delighted to be able to do it myself. The other thing that’s fun is sometimes you think maybe she said too much, and then maybe it seems as if what she said was intentional. She’s about three steps ahead of everyone, and that’s gobs of fun to play.”
Whether Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Val is assembling her own Avengers in the form of The Thunderbolts remains to be seen. But for now, fans can still look forward to Samuel L. Jackson reprising his role as Nick Fury in Secret Invasion. The story is said to follow Fury as he tries to save Earth from the Skrulls, who have infiltrated all aspects of life on the planet. Rumors also suggest that SWORD, a more cosmic-based companion of SHIELD, will be featured on the show. The series will consist of six episodes, directed by Thomas Bezucha and Ali Selim.