The Evidence Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders Could Be Involved
Step forward Samuel L. Jackson, who confirmed his presence for a Marvel production in the UK when he posted on Instagram at the beginning of July; the actor shared an image suggesting his character, Nick Fury, is back working for S.H.I.E.L.D. in a new movie. The image was geo-tagged to Watford, England, less than half an hour away from where Spider-Man: Far From Home is shooting. On its own, it didn't mean much; it's entirely possible Marvel took advantage of his proximity to film additional photography for Avengers 4.
More recently, though, Numan Acar has offered another piece of evidence. Acar recently joined the cast of Spider-Man: Far From Home as a character referred to as "Dimitri" (possibly the Chameleon). He confirmed this with a celebratory post on Instagram, one with a large number of tags. These included general references such as #film, along with variations of #spiderman. Crucially, though, Acar tagged a number of actors already known to be in the movie, including Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal. However, he also tagged #samueljackson, #cobiesmulders, #nickfury, and #mariahill. The actor swiftly deleted the post, but not before it was spotted by MCUExchange.
It's slight and far from confirmation, but at the moment the best suggestion is that Nick Fury and Maria Hill are set to appear in Spider-Man: Far From Home, with Fury serving as that major MCU cameo. But what could their role be?
Nick Fury and A Resurgent S.H.I.E.L.D.
Avengers: Infinity War's post-credits scene finally revealed what Fury and Hill have been doing since 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron. The two spies seem to have become field operatives in an organization remarkably similar to S.H.I.E.L.D.; Not only has this agency scooped up ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives, it's also monitoring alien attacks on New York and has satellites watching former S.H.I.E.L.D. hotspots like Wakanda. It's possible this is an entirely new group, but if so it's simply picked up where S.H.I.E.L.D. left off. It's worth noting that Fury doesn't appear to be in charge of this new initiative; he and Hill referred to reporting in to "Control."
The primary purpose of the post-credits scene was to set up Captain Marvel's return to Earth, with Fury sending out a cosmic Mayday to summon Marvel's strongest hero yet. But this could double as setup for Fury and Hill's future as well, establishing them as active again (albeit hampered by Thanos' snap).
If Fury and Hill are indeed in Spider-Man: Far From Home, then it stands to reason they're still acting as field agents for this new group. Presumably, they would ally with Spider-Man against Mysterio, possibly even providing the funds that would allow Peter to travel across Europe.
The Comic Book (and Animated) Precedent
There is a definite precedent for a strong working relationship between Fury and Spider-Man. In the comics, Peter's parents were members of S.H.I.E.L.D., something that became a crucial plot point in Marvel's Ultimate Universe, a relaunch in the early 2000s that has served as a major source of inspiration for Marvel Studios. In that universe, Fury had cared deeply about the Parkers and was devastated by their deaths, subsequently keeping a careful eye on their son, Peter. He was thrilled when he realized the teenager had become a superhero, believing Spider-Man could be the greatest hero of them all, even grooming him as a future Ultimate (that universe's equivalent of the Avengers). The relationship between Spider-Man and Fury naturally had its highs and lows - Fury is a secretive man, and he never quite revealed just how much he cared about Peter - but, over time, the two became more than just mentor and student; they became friends.
This idea has been reproduced in a number of Marvel's animated series, most notably the current Spider-Man show. And that's actually a crucial point: Spider-Man: Homecoming drew inspiration from the animated shows as much as from the original comics. Even the film's title was lifted from an animated episode. So it wouldn't be a surprise for Marvel to look to the animated series for ideas.
The evidence is certainly building that Peter Parker has some connection to Nick Fury in Spider-Man: Far From Home, possibly working with his S.H.I.E.L.D.-equivalent organization. With filming now underway and Avengers: Infinity War making clear the MCU isn't done with Sameul L. Jackson just yet, more will surely be revealed soon.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019