Joss Whedon has quite a bit of time to re-work the script for The Avengers, the Marvel Studios flagship project which is set to kick-off the summer of 2012.

Actor Chris Hemsworth, the man who wield the mighty hammer Mjolnir as Thor in the Kenneth Branagh-directed film and as a member of The Avengers, let it slip last month that he’d be shooting The Avengers sometime in January/February. Now comes further confirmation that February is the start date for epic superhero adventure from another member of the cast – Samuel L. Jackson.

Earlier today, Sam L took part in some round-table interviews to promote Mother and Child, a film of his that debuts on the same day as Iron Man 2. During the discussion, the press took advantage of the opportunity to talk the big topics: Nick Fury and his future.

We know that after Iron Man, Jackson signed a long-term 9-picture deal. It’s expected that his character, like in the comics, will act as the essential link for recruiting The Avengers team and bringing them together as a unit under S.H.I.E.L.D. We know he’s in Iron Man 2 but we weren’t sure as to where he’ll pop up next. Not that it appears that he will be in The First Avenger: Captain America but not in Thor.

Q: You’ve talked about doing nine films as Nick Fury and that it would be a gradual road before you get a Nick Fury film. How has that journey been?

Sam: I got started on it when I did the end of Iron Man 1. My foot was on the path. Now, my foot is a little deeper on the path ’cause we’ve got Iron Man 2. I’m not in Thor. I’m supposed to do Captain America this summer in London.

Q: Why aren’t you in Thor?

Sam: I have no idea. I’m not in charge of making those decisions. I thought I was. They said I was in the trades, and I was like, “Oh, I’ve got a job!” And then, I called my agent and she said, “Nah, you’re not in it. They misprinted.” I was like, “Well shit, they need to pay me just ’cause they put my name in it.”

S.H.I.E.L.D. is Coming For Thor at the end of his movie and we already know that Agent Coulson, played by actor Clark Gregg in Iron Man, has a role in the film. We can assume he’ll be doing Fury’s dirty work in recruiting the Asgardian God but that’s not to say we won’t see some other surprise appearances, perhaps by Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark?

Agent Coulson works for Nick Fury to recruit The Avengers

So, when will we get to see Nick Fury in a more prominent role? There’s been speculation that his 9-picture deal could include the option of a solo film for the character, but for me, he works better as a team player. According to him, he plays a much bigger part in The Avengers.

Q: Do you have any desire to campaign for your own Nick Fury film?

Sam: The Avengers is my own starring vehicle for that character, pretty much.

Q: But, that’s so far away.

Sam: That’s not that far away. It’s just February. I’ve got time to get in shape and everything.

Transcript courtesy of IESB.

Continue to Page 2 where Samuel L. Jackson talks about bring Nick Fury into the action and into a bigger role…

That’s not all though; MTV News also got some interesting quotes about Samuel L. Jackson’s desire to bring Nick Fury into the action and he promises that we will get to see him shoot somebody.

“Nick does boss people around… But every now and then, he does kill somebody.”

“[He will] shoot somebody… I’d like for him to do something eventually… I’m totally looking forward to finally getting Nick Fury into action.”

As excited as many of us are at the prospect of The Avengers, we are looking almost too far ahead when imagining what will become of Marvel Studios’ behemoth team-up film. Time will fly but Chris Evans was only just cast as Captain America and we still have yet to see with Chris Hemsworth looks like in costume as Thor.

Outside of the lead-up to Iron Man 2, which is only a few weeks away believe it or not, there likely won’t be too much on the Captain America or Thor fronts until the Marvel Studios/Paramount presentation at San Diego Comic-Con. We will be there reporting live as it happens so stick around. Joss Whedon is directing The Avengers and I’m sure he’ll be a presence at the event.

Whedon’s already working on the project as evidenced by his recent meeting with Edgar Wright, the man who will be helming Ant-Man for Marvel, a character I expect will be introduced in The Avengers.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Iron Man 2 opens May 7, 2010, Thor opens May 5, 2011, The First Avenger: Captain America hits July 22, 2011 and The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012.

Sources: IESB, MTV