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Whatever happens in the MCU, Samuel L. Jackson has no plans to retire as Nick Fury

By Matthew Jackson
Captain Marvel - Nick Fury / Samuel L Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson is entering his second decade of appearing on the big screen as Nick Fury, but that doesn't mean he's ready to hang up the eyepatch just yet.

Jackson — the most influential, highest-grossing movie star on the planet thanks to tenptoles like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars — first appeared as the character in 2008's Iron Man, a few years after his likeness was used as the basis for the Ultimate Universe's version of Nick Fury. Jackson, a lifelong comics fan, called his agents after he discovered his likeness in 2002's The Ultimates, and when his representatives got in touch with Marvel, the company promised he could play the character if he ever made it to the big screen.

That promise has translated to one of Jackson's most beloved roles, one he's played in eight films and counting over the last decade. Captain Marvel, in theaters in March, marks his ninth film appearance as Fury (he's also played the role briefly on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series), and the end of the fabled nine-picture deal he signed with Marvel back when the MCU was still just a dream.

This April's Avengers: Endgame (which may or may not feature an appearance from Fury; Marvel's not telling yet) marks the end of an era in the MCU, one that may see the departure of one or more key players in the Avengers mythos up to this point. It's been widely speculated that the film will mark the last appearance of Chris Evans as Captain America, or perhaps Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, and there may be still more casualties beyond that. Captain Marvel, who's about to dominate 2019 for the company; a young Spider-Man heading into his second solo film; and a Black Panther franchise that's still exerting tremendous influence are ready to usher in the next era of MCU dominance, but it's still not clear which characters will stick around for the ride. Well, apparently we can count Fury in.

In a new, wide-ranging profile in The Hollywood Reporter, Jackson expressed enthusiasm about continuing his role at Marvel, which will already include an appearance in Spider-Man: Far From Home this summer.

"I could be the Alec Guinness of Marvel movies," Jackson, who celebrated his 70th birthday last month, said.

Seth Abramovitch, who interviewed Jackson for the profile, noted the star would "happily play the part into his 80s," which would mark another decade as the linchpin of the MCU. There's just one issue left to settle there: his pay. As recently as 2017, Jackson was paid $5 million for his appearance in Kong: Skull Island, and apparently took in even more for his starring role in M. Night Shyamalan's upcoming sequel Glass.

"I'm a gunslinger now," Jackson said.

It's not clear how much Marvel would have to pay to keep Jackson in the Fury role, but having a single actor continuing to serve as the through-line for your entire cinematic universe well after its initial stars have passed the torch (if that indeed does happen this year) could be a tremendous boon for the company. Plus, even at 70, Jackson's onscreen action star charisma hasn't lost a step.

Glass is in theaters January 18. Captain Marvel is in theaters March 8.