Samuel L. Jackson has been all over the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As spymaster Nick Fury he’s appeared in the first two Iron Man films, all four Avengers entries, most of the Captain America movies, Captain Marvel, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Spider-Man: Far from Home (though, to be accurate in at least some of them he’s mainly played someone pretending to be him). He voiced variants of his character from across the Multiverse in What If…?, and will soon appear both in next year’s The Marvels and in the upcoming Disney+ mini-series Secret Invasion. In spite of all that, Jackson recently revealed he has an issue with one of the few Marvel chapters he didn’t get to appear in: 2016’s Captain America: Civil War.
The MCU veteran recently joined a number of actors — Tom Hiddleston, Michael Keaton, Oscar Isaac, Brian Cox, and Quincy Isaiah — on The Hollywood Reporter‘s Actor Roundtable. At one point, seeming to be partly joking, Samuel L. Jackson talked about his complaint that he was one of the few MCU heroes to not show up for Captain America: Civil War. “I still fuss at them, about Civil War because I’m like, ‘How could the kids fight and Nick Fury not show up?'” Jackson said. “Like, ‘What’s going on here? Everybody go to your room.’ But they didn’t need me for that. They did, but they didn’t.” You can watch the entire Actor Roundtable below.
In all seriousness, there are arguably a few good reasons why Samuel L. Jackson wasn’t in Civil War. On the practical side of things, it was already a pretty packed film. With the exception of Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, Civil War starred not only just about every pre-existing Marvel hero at that point, but it also had the job of introducing Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. Narratively there are some good reasons as well. Fury was still — because of his own wishes — largely presumed dead and wedging himself into a very public brawl between most of the world’s superheroes probably wouldn’t have helped with his cover. Not to mention that as Jackson jokes, if Fury had been in Civil War he would’ve been trying to stop the fight between the heroes; which is laudable, but a lot less fun.
Unless he makes a surprise appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Ms. Marvel, or She-Hulk (and with his character, you never do know when he’ll pop up) the next time we’ll see Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury is in the upcoming Secret Invasion. There’s no release date for the show yet, though it’s expected to stream in the latter part of this year. The series will be partly based on the 2008-9 Marvel Comics event of the same name, in which it’s revealed that a number of prominent Marvel characters had been replaced by Skrulls years before. Along with Jackson, Cobie Smulders will reprise her role as Maria Hill, Ben Mendelsohn with once again play the Skrull Talos, Martin Freeman will return as Everett K. Ross. The series will also star Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Olivia Colman (Lost Daughter), Christopher McDonald (Thelma & Louise), Kingsley Ben-Adir (Peaky Blinders), Carmen Ejogo (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), and Killian Scott (’71).