By Mack Chico
Samuel L. Jackson has signed a long-term deal with Marvel Entertainment to return as Nick Fury for ‘Iron Man 2’ and then potentially nine more films. Following recent statements by Jackson that negotiations between he and Marvel had come to naught, this is really good news.
It has been hard enough keeping track of ‘Iron Man 2’ casting without having to think of a new actor to play the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division). According to rumors, Mickey Rourke was in as a villain, and then out. Emily Blunt and Scarlett Johansson have been mentioned as Black Widow, while Don Cheadle did in fact replace Terrance Howard as Iron Man Tony Stark’s military friend Jim Rhodes.
Besides ‘Iron Man 2,’ set for a 2010 release, Jackson will play Fury in the Kenneth Branagh-directed ‘Thor’ (also 2010) and Captain America’ and ‘The Avengers’ (both 2010). There may also be a S.H.I.E.L.D. movie further down the road.
Those are four of the nine titles, but I’m not sure what other properties Marvel has in development that benefit from Jackson’s sense of gravitas. There’s ‘Ant-Man,’ which ‘Shaun of the Dead’ director Nick Wright is attached to, and ‘Runaways,’ which is currently being scripted by Brian K. Vaughn.