The Original Plans For Samuel L. Jackson In The Marvel Universe Revealed

Here's how Marvel originally saw Samuel L. Jackson's Marvel role going.

By Faith McKay | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

samuel l. jackson

There are a few things fans love as connective elements for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of those is Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. He first appeared in Iron Man and has been an important part of the universe ever since. Another is the post-credits scenes, which have become an essential part of every Marvel movie. However, neither was intended to become a staple of these films. The recently released book, The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is revealing all kinds of behind-the-scenes secrets for the franchise, including that no one planned for Samuel L. Jackson to be a key character.

Here’s an excerpt from the book, where the story of Samuel L. Jackson joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a post-credits scene on Iron Man was revealed.

[Iron Man associate producer Jeremy Latcham] says they called Jackson and asked if he was still interested, and if so, would he do a cameo for them. ‘We didn’t have a deal with him for future movies,’ Latcham clarifies. ‘It was just this weird idea that maybe people give a s—t if we stick it on the end.’ Jackson agreed, and even if the scene didn’t amount to much at the time, the team at Marvel Studios decided it should remain as secret as possible to try and preserve a surprise for the hard-core comic fans who would get it right away.

Excerpt from The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe About Samuel L. Jackson Joining the MCU

Iron Man kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe after its release in 2008. Samuel L. Jackson’s role in the post-credits scene was small, but memorable. At the time, no one could have predicted what Marvel movies would become over the following decade. Every time a story comes out about the work behind Iron Man, it makes it sound as though they had no idea they were building the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For example, they originally didn’t want to cast Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, since he was seen as a risk at the time. A lot of the elements that would become so important to fans, like Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, were just fun “weird ideas” that they had going into the project. All of these elements have now combined to set the tone for a cinematic universe that is often praised for seeming so cohesive and well-put-together.

When it comes to science fiction and fantasy stories, perhaps going ahead and playing with those “weird ideas” is the best way to make something fans will really love. Especially when those ideas involve an actor as iconic as Samuel L. Jackson. Currently, the actor is working on Secret Invasion, a new series for Disney+. His updates on social media have shown that he is fully invested in playing Nick Fury on the show and seems to be having a fun time. You can see a recent post he shared from the set, where he is wearing a fun Nick Fury t-shirt.

Prior to joining Iron Man for what he believed would be a quick cameo, Samuel L. Jackson was already a major face for huge films. He played Mace Windu in the Star Wars franchise. While that character may be dead, it’s something the actor often disputes. He would love it if his character were to return to a Star Wars project someday. He often celebrates the franchise on Star Wars Day. In 2021, he did so with a t-shirt that combined his work on Star Wars with that of one of his most iconic Quentin Tarantino movies. You can see the Star Wars and Pulp Fiction mashup shirt below:

With how well the Marvel Cinematic Universe has come together today, it’s hard to imagine that they weren’t planning for Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury to be such a major player right from the get-go. It’s a good thing they realized what they had after Iron Man released and got him signed and committed to becoming the essential character he is today.