In a post-credits scene for 2019’s Spider-Man: Far from Home, audiences learned that — for an as of yet undetermined amount of time — the Skrull Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) had been impersonating the spymaster Nick Fury. Meanwhile, the real Nick Fury has aged more than we realized. In a recent video, Samuel L. Jackson appears to have jumped forward in age.
The video was captured by THR’s Chris Gardner from the American Cinematheque Awards honoring Samuel L. Jackson’s frequent Marvel Cinematic Universe co-star, Scarlett Johansson. Jackson lavishes Johansson with praise, visibly eliciting both laughter and emotion from the actress. In terms of Secret Invasion, what’s most interesting is the actor’s appearance. Sporting gray facial hair, the Nick Fury actor looks a lot older than Jackson does in real life, suggesting he’s still wearing whatever faux facial hair he’s sporting while filming Secret Invasion. You can see the video below.
For comparison, check out Samuel L. Jackson from just a few weeks ago. Presumably gifted the car by Audi, Jackson posed leaning on his new Audi Q8 for an Instagram post. In spite of being taken at the end of October, Jackson’s face doesn’t have even a hint of facial hair and he looks much younger. You can see the photo below.
So what does this mean? Well it could help to confirm one fan theory about when Talos first swapped places with the real Fury. A theory posed by a Reddit user named Jacob_Wallace (via ComicBook) puts the Talos/Nick Fury swap in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The still brainwashed Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) attempts to assassinate Samuel L. Jackson’s character, but he just barely manages to survive. Jacob_Wallace argues that the Skrulls used their advanced tech to save Fury, and then Talos traded places with him. He also points out that while in 2019’s Captain Marvel Fury says he can’t eat toast that’s cut diagonally, he eats diagonally cut toast in a scene set in the Barton in kitchen in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron — Fury’s first post-Winter-Soldier appearance.
How does any of this relate to Nick Fury’s aging? We learn in Winter Soldier that when he’s shot, Fury’s injuries include a “lacerated spinal column, cracked sternum, shattered collarbone, perforated liver,” and a collapsed lung. That’s two compromised major organs along with other serious injuries. That on its own could explain why Samuel L. Jackson’s character looks much older in Secret Invasion than he did as recently as 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
Secret Invasion is based on a 2008 Marvel Comics crossover event and mini-series of the same name in which it’s discovered that certain key figures were replaced by shape-shifting Skrulls in preparation for an invasion of Earth. Assuming the upcoming series follows the same basic premise, then apparently we will soon learn that not all of the Skrulls feel grateful for the help of Samuel L. Jackson’s Fury and Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers. We won’t know for sure until the series premieres or more info is released.
Secret Invasion‘s release date hasn’t been made public yet, but it’s expected to premiere on Disney+ in 2022. Along with Samuel L. Jackson leading the series as Nick Fury, Ben Mendelsohn is expected to reprise the role of Talos. Kingsley Ben-Adair (The OA) has been tapped to play the lead villain whose name is still kept under wraps and Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) will also appear in the series.