Nick Fury may be one of the most important characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But in 2019, when Samuel L. Jackson reprises the role for Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson, the S.H.I.E.L.D. director will lose his most distinct visual signature: His eye-patch. And after the still-untitled Avengers 4 in 2019, Nick Fury may be finished in the MCU.
In an A.V. Club interview, Jackson said Captain Marvel “is going back” in the MCU timeline, meaning the film will be the second period piece in the Marvel series (the first being Captain America: The First Avenger, set in World War II). And throughout Captain Marvel, Nick Fury will still have two eyes.
“You’ll see Nick Fury with another guy’s face,” Jackson said, “somebody that’s got two eyes, so that’s a whole big deal. You’ll see. It’s prior to the eye injury, no eye patch.”
Aside from his sleek leather trenchcoat and impeccably sharp black turtlenecks, Nick Fury’s eye patch is his most distinct visual attribute. It was the only feature that stayed with Nick Fury after comics writer Mark Millar reimagined Nick Fury from a square-jawed Caucasian man into a bald black male, whom he modeled after Samuel L. Jackson.
After seeing Millar’s Fury in the comics, Jackson arranged a deal to have dibs for an onscreen Nick Fury, which he eventually played in the infamous post-credits scene of 2008’s Iron Man.
Jackson also said he’s at the end of his deal with Marvel, referring to his role in the past tense. “I’m sort of the glue that holds all these guys together. I got them into the organization, into S.H.I.E.L.D., and every now and then I show up to remind them that S.H.I.E.L.D. has a purpose,” Jackson said, reminiscing. “It’s been a good job. It was a nine-picture deal. I did it. It was good.”
A quick tally of Jackson’s feature film appearances — not including his recurring bits in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — does indicate that Avengers 4 will be his final movie: Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Captain Marvel (2019), and Avengers 4 (2019). With all of that under his belt, Nick Fury’s deserved some time off.
Avengers: Infinity War will be released in theaters on May 4.