Did you love seeing all your favorite Marvel superheroes together in The Avengers? Were you holding out hope that they'd team up again in the upcoming spin-offs, Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World? Are you sitting down? We hope you are, because Samuel L. Jackson has some bad news for you.
"None of the Avengers are in Iron Man 3," the star told Total Film Magazine (via MTV). "It's a standalone Iron Man movie." Samuel L. Jackson prefaced the news by stating, "I think my next time as Nick Fury is in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Because I'm not in Iron Man 3."
Two movies in a row without Nick Fury? That would be a first for Marvel Studios, who began their interconnected franchise with a post-credits scene in the original Iron Man that introduced the SHIELD commander to the title character, saying something about an "Avengers Initiative." (Whatever became of that, anyway?) Since then, Nick Fury has appeared in every Marvel Studios film except The Incredible Hulk and Thor, although SHIELD had a very large presence in that second film thanks to the recently-deceased Agent Coulson, played by Clark Gregg. Could Iron Man 3 and/or Thor: The Dark World go the same route, and keep the films connected via supporting characters, or is Marvel concerned about overplaying their crossover hand, and keeping their solo films working as separate entities? Ordinarily we'd say this could be a bluff, to keep the character's appearance a secret, but at this point would anyone be surprised if Nick Fury showed up in a Marvel movie? What would be the point of hiding it?
In any case, Samuel L. Jackson will be back, along with Scarlett Johansson as The Black Widow, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and, presumably, The Avengers 2. Those films will be released on April 4, 2014 and May 1, 2015, respectively. What do you think? Can you guys wait that long?