There are three men that have been with featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe from its start in 2008 with Iron Man all the way up until now. Robert Downey Jr. continues to be the face of the MCU moving into Phase 3, while Clark Gregg has transitioned Phil Coulson to the small screen after his big screen demise. However, it was Samuel L. Jackson's appearance as Nick Fury in the post-credits scene to Iron Man that teased what was in store.
So far, the MCU consists of 14 movies, but it's only the beginning. While almost all of their films are generally well received, Marvel has had some detractors. The lack of memorable villains throughout the universe has been a common complaint for many, with Loki standing tall as the best to date. However, Jackson may have just revealed that Captain America: The First Avenger's memorable main baddie could be returning.
Jackson was a guest on HOT 97 to promote his newest film Kong: Skull Island, but at the tail end of the interview, he was asked about his future within the MCU. After he again stated his disbelief of Fury not being included in Black Panther, his explanation for the character's recent adventures has raised some eyebrows:
You didn't see me in Civil War. I'm still out there trying to figure out what The Skull is going to...
Before getting too carried away with his quote, the way Jackson says it is quite interesting as well. Right as he is about to say "The Skull," he pauses for a few moments. It could be to try to recall whether or not he is allowed to say this, or doing his best to correctly remember the character's name. The Skull is not a Marvel character, so the next conclusion is that he means Red Skull, previously played by Hugo Weaving.
If this is true and Fury has been on a secret hunt for Red Skull, it makes his absence over the past few films that much more interesting. In fact, he does not figure to be part of any of the upcoming movies as of right now until Avengers: Infinity War. However, Red Skull was last seen being absorbed by the Tesseract, presumably transported to an unknown location and time. Unless he is back in the present day in some form, tracking down Skull could be difficult. That said, Fury has long ties to S.H.I.E.L.D. and clearly knows the history of Hydra as well, so this could also just mean he is hunting down his teachings and followers.
Outside of fan theories and wishes, there have been no real reports pointing to Marvel planning to bring back Red Skull. If this is happening, it is uncertain whether or not Weaving would return in the role. Ever since the experience, he has voiced how unhappy he was with the role, only to change his tune last time he spoke of it. Is it possible this was a result of him knowing Marvel had optioned his contract to appear in Infinity War or another film? It certainly could be, but with his appearance unconfirmed, Jackson's comments remain unclear. One way or another, if Red Skull is making a comeback, it should become known before the film is released, and now we know Fury is on his trail.
Source: HOT 97
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) release date: May 05, 2017
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019