Did Marvel Studios just give away a major new development in its cinematic universe?
The marketing machine for Captain America: The Winter Soldier is officially in high gear, and that means fans (including us) are scouring every poster, every interview and every possible snippet of new footage for as much Marvel awesomeness as they can handle. Sometimes all these tidbits -- like toy releases, for example -- leave us with little more than idle speculation that we'll never really sort out until we see the film. Sometimes, though, Marvel puts something right out in the open, either because they want us to know it or they want us to think we do, and that's certainly the case with the latest Winter Soldier TV spot.
Check out the spot below, and see if you notice what I'm talking about. It won't be hard. Oh, and we'd warn you about spoilers, but since this is going to be hitting pretty much every TV in America at some point, you'll probably have a hard time escaping it.
Did you hear it?
"Fury's last words were not to trust anyone."
Fury's last words?
We already know from the Winter Soldier footage that's hit so far that Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury gets into a pretty serious dust-up with the metal-armed villain in the flick, something that's shown again here when Winter Soldier flips Fury's car via carefully placed explosive device. We expected Fury to go through some rough stuff, but will it really kill him?
Obviously, Marvel's not going to just telegraph a major character death in a TV spot like this, but even if they accidentally did, we already know that Jackson's Marvel work doesn't end here. He's already committed to returning for Avengers: Age of Ultron, and his current (as far as we know) nine-film deal with the company means he'd have at least two more big-screen appearances after that. So, since we have all that knowledge, we have to ask ourselves: What does Marvel want us to believe is happening here?
Well, Joss Whedon has already established that returning from the dead in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is possible, and if it happened for one of Fury's subordinates, it can certainly happen for him, too. So, will Fury get a Coulson-style rebirth? It seems unlikely that Marvel would pull the same trick again that quickly, so let's consider another, more likely option. This could be our indicator that Cap and company just think that Fury's dead, and meanwhile Cap has to deal with the less familiar side of S.H.I.E.L.D. under Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford). Whatever happens, though, we've now got Fury's fate to think about for the next month and a half, and for whatever reason, Marvel wanted it that way.