‘Iron Man 2’ presents Nick Fury as spy, sponsor and mentor [updated]

April 26, 2010 | 5:09 a.m.


Tony Stark breaks all the rules (even the one that says superheroes must keep a secret identity), and he always seems to come out on top — that’s why we love him. But now comes “Iron Man 2,” a film about secret dangers, the sins of the father and the nasty price of modern celebrity. The movie lands May 7 in the U.S., and every day until then, we’ll have behind-the-scenes scoops on the summer’s most anticipated film and a look at all things Iron Man.



Think of Nick Fury as the spy who came in from credits.

During the making of the first “Iron Man,” Samuel L. Jackson was invited to film a quick scene in the role as “a tag,” the name for those short (and often funny or sequel-suggesting) snippets of film that roll after the credits. The Fury tag was especially fun because in Marvel Comics, the modern incarnation of spy-chief Fury was in fact modeled after Jackson — which made the “Iron Man” after-credit scene one of the most memorable ever, right up there with “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Napoleon Dynamite.” 

Nick Fury Ultimates

The tag also turned out to be one of heck of a job audition for Jackson — signed a nine-movie deal with Marvel Studios to make his fictional espionage czar the unifying crossover character as Marvel moves forward with the plan to interlock all of its superhero films.

“The idea was just to do this tag, and we thought it would be really fun to get Sam since the comics version of Fury is based on him,” said “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2” director Jon Favreau. “Now it’s become much more than that. In the [“Iron Man 2”] film, he has a significant role and becomes the entry point to connect Tony Stark to the agency called S.H.E.I.L.D. and, thereby, the rest of the Marvel Universe, with Captain America, Thor, the Avengers.”

In “Iron Man 2,” Fury is a bit slippery — he shows flashes of candor and empathy in dealings with the billionaire super-hero Stark, but then he also makes some Machiavellian moves that make it clear that his pragmatism is greater than his patience when it comes to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s secret agenda.

In Jackson, Favreau says, Marvel has a charismatic player with a black-ops grin who can hold his own in a room full of super-powered types.

“He has tremendous presence,” Favreau said. “We have a scene in the film at Randy’s Donuts where Tony, after a rough night, needs a talking-to. And as Fury, Sam is a combination of sponsor and mentor and also this mysterious guy who is indoctrinating him into this order of superheroes.”

Will Fury be a character who will span decades as a sort of artificially young Dorian Gray (as was part of his backstory for many years in the Marvel Comics universe)? There’s a scene in “Iron Man 2” where Fury talks about his firsthand knowledge of Stark’s father and his personal feelings about family and legacy — does the tidbit suggest that Fury will be linking Marvel’s characters through the decades with the WWII period piece “The First Avenger: Captain America” on deck in the studio’s production pipeline?  

“Will they say he was alive in World War II? I don’t have any idea on that one. I know there’s been a lot of discussion about that. There’s a lot of things to be considered. There are endless possibilities and endless discussion of them.”

— Geoff Boucher


Iron Man 2 poster

“Iron Man 2” finds its past (and Marvel’s future) in Stark Expo

Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko — from Russia with hate

“Iron Man 2” won’t be a cliffhanger — and here’s why

Bigger than Batman? “IM2” may challenge “Dark Knight”

Check out the “IM2” interactive trailer

Scarlett in Black: Johansson’s Widow is wild card in “IM2” 

Too many “IM2” villains? Don’t worry, says Favreau

Sweet! The story behind the “IM2” doughnut scene

Sam Rockwell as Iron Man? Could have happened

Jon Favreau on the secret weapon in “Iron Man 2” 

PHOTO: Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures.

UPDATED: An early version of this post incorrectly stated that Samuel L. Jackson had a cameo in “The Incredible Hulk.”


8 Responses to ‘Iron Man 2’ presents Nick Fury as spy, sponsor and mentor [updated]

  1. Dougie Fresh says:

    I'm not convinced by Samuel L Jackson's performance as a man with one functional eye. It seems like he is still acting as though his real eye behind the eye patch is part of the character. This is a dangerous move. What does this mean for acting in general?

  2. shaun says:

    Nick Fury did not appear in the tag for "The Incredible Hulk", only Tony Stark did.

  3. driveon says:

    I am a big Marvel fan. I'm an especially BIG fan of Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commando's. As such, I'm a bit disappointed at Mr. Jackson's casting as Nick Fury. I hate having to enter race into the equation, but Nick Fury as the leader of the rip roarin' Howlin' Commando's was white. Fury, Cpl. Dum Dum Dugan, Izzy Cohen, Dino Martinelli, Gabe Jones (the only black member of the outfit), Reb (oh now I can't remember Reb's last name), Percy Pinkerton, and Eric Koening, made up the Howlers, the 1st Attack Squad. "Happy Sam Sawyer was the CO of the Howlers, as well as Bull McGivney, and his Missouri Marauders, who made up the 2nd Attack Squad. Having grown up reading The Howlers, I just can't see Mr. Jackson as Nick Fury. It just seems wrong. Is this incarnation of Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D not supposed to be in any way tied to Sgt. Nick Fury of the Howling Commando's?

  4. ed says:

    I don't know about the casting of Sam Jackson either, but I'll hold further judgment until I see the movie.

  5. David Scholes says:

    Just a shame that Nick Fury and hence Samuel L Jackson is not in the upcoming Thor movie.
    Have your readers joined thousands of others and checked out my Marvel fan fic yet?
    Just scroll down below my author profile and you will see over 40 fan fiction stories here:
    I’m also an Australian science fiction writer: <a href="http://www.StrategicBookPublishing.com/ScienceFictionand…” target=”_blank”>www.StrategicBookPublishing.com/ScienceFictionand…
    Plus I've just finished writing a new science fiction novella.

  6. Kyle W. says:

    The black Fury is from Marvel's Ultimate line. The character had already appeared as a white man in Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate X-men. Since his Jackson-based appearance in The Ultimates was so enjoyable, the earlier appearances were ret-conned by explaining that he had been using a hologram. The Ultimate Origins miniseries explained that that version of the character had also lived through WWII, and seemed to pay homage to Truth: Red, White, and Black, with its Marvel-equivalent of the Tuskegee experiments. (To cut off any stereotyping before it starts: I am in my mid-20s, do not live with my parents, and have almost had girlfriends.)

  7. george says:

    i love all you guys for loving SAM, but to all you haters out there shut the fudge up! :) guest

  8. Mike Fury says:

    I love Samuel L Jackson as an actor. But I agree he is not the right choice for Nick Fury. Also being old enough to remember the Howling Maruaders I do not understand how this is going to be in keeping with the stoiries we remember. Let's stay true to the characters as they were. This is not a racew thing for me either I adopted two black children. More of a purest thing for my favorite comic book character- if it wasn't it should be considering my last name! Mike Fury

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