Avatar actor Stephen Lang wants a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the original Nick Fury, during his days as the leader of a band of elite soldiers (aka. the Howling Commandos) in World War II. Lang was a fan of the comic book series Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, which ran from 1963 to 1981.
Samuel L. Jackson made his big screen debut as Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., in the original Iron Man movie. Jackson’s Fury was based on the Ultimate version of the character, which was actually inspired by Jackson himself. Aside from a knack for secrets, the SLJ version of the Fury character doesn’t have much in common with the cigar-smoking tough guy from the mainstream universe in the comic books. Jackson playing the Ultimate Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe also signaled to comic book readers that the classic version of Fury probably wouldn’t be showing up in the franchise anytime soon, either.
However, that was before Marvel Comics introduced another version of Fury based on Jackson’s portrayal of the character. The two Nick Fury characters bear the same name and exist in the same universe, meaning that the pair can also coexist in the MCU (in theory, anyway). In an interview with Screen Rant, Lang revealed that the Marvel character he would most like to play is in fact the other Nick Fury – as in, not the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent version that Jackson is known for portraying.
Lang prefers Fury as the leader of the Howling Commandos, not S.H.I.E.L.D., and told us that his all time favorite Marvel comic book series is indeed Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos. Lang added that Fury had a “great influence” on him when he was younger, and that he also loved Dum Dum Dugan, Fury’s best friend (who eventually joined him at S.H.I.E.L.D.):
My favorite Comic Book of all the Marvel series, was always Sargent Fury and His Howling Commandos. I friggin’ loved Sargent Fury’s Howling Commandos and to me it was always like, I want to be Nick Fury.
Though Sgt. Fury has yet to appear in the MCU, the Howling Commandos played key roles in Captain America: The First Avenger and the ABC series, Agent Carter. It’s always possible that Marvel could produce a TV series that would further explore the lives of the Howling Commandos and possibly tie up loose ends from Agent Carter. If so, it would give Marvel a chance to please fans of the original Nick Fury by finally giving the character a place in the MCU. The MCU could even take inspiration from the comics by explaining that Jackson’s Fury is related to Sgt. Fury, were that to happen.
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