How Long Has Nick Fury Been a Skrull? Timeline Explained

nick fury featured

Nick Fury, portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson, is one of the most recognizable, and the most frequently recurring character in the MCU. However, after we learned that Fury and his closest associate, Maria Hill, were Skrulls in Spider-Man: Far From Home (an alien shapeshifting species), fans started to wonder – how long has Nick Fury been a Skrull?

There are theories suggesting that Nick Fury could’ve actually been a Skrull for a very long time – basically, the entire MCU. Some fans say that he went off-Earth somewhere between the events of Captain Marvel and Iron Man. Another theory is that it has only been since Spider-Man: Far From Home or a little earlier.

There’s also a third theory, suggesting Fury might’ve left the Earth and sent a Skrull in his place somewhere in the middle of Captain America: The Winter Soldier after he was attacked for the first time. The theories are there – now it’s time to explain and potentially debunk them.

When did we learn that Nick Fury was a Skrull?

The first time it was revealed that Nick Fury was a Skrull in one of the post-credit scenes from Spider-Man: Far From Home. As Fury and Maria Hill drive in a car, they slowly turn into their original forms – Soren and Talos, the Skrull husband and wife we met in Captain Marvel.

They get a call from someone, and Talos starts explaining how he gave the glasses to Peter Parker, but then everything went off the rails, but it was all taken care of in the end, but they still need ‘him’ to come back, etc., etc.

At that moment, we get to see who they’re talking to – Nick Fury himself, laying in front of a hologram of a beautiful beach, sipping on Pina Colada from a coconut. Fury hangs up on Talos, gets up, stretches, and walks off, as we get to see that he’s actually in space, resting.

So, we know when it was revealed but just how long was this going on? Let’s dive into the theories and bits of evidence – or, rather, arguments – that support them.


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Why Nick Fury might’ve been a Skrull all along

Theories quickly arose that we actually only saw the real Nick Fury in Captain Marvel (2019), a movie whose plot is happening in the 1990s. The theory suggests that Fury switched places with Talos shortly after the events of Captain Marvel, pulling the strings from space while the Skrull imposter poses as himself on Earth.

That would suggest that Captain Marvel was the only MCU film where we saw the real Nick Fury, other than Spider-Man: Far From Home, where we saw him in space for a brief post-credits moment. While the theory seems rather wild, some arguments support it.

The sandwiches

fury toast

Funny enough, the way that Nick Fury eats his sandwiches might be the most damning piece of evidence to support this Fury-was-a-Skrull-all-along theory. In Captain Marvel, Fury and Carol Danvers spend some time talking when Fury reveals a particular odd fact about himself – he can’t fathom eating sandwiches that are cut diagonally, forming two triangles.

He actually says – ‘If toast is cut diagonally, I can’t eat it.’

But hold on, we’ve seen Fury eat sandwiches in the MCU before! In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Nick actually cuts the toast himself and cuts it diagonally, eating it with no problem. That might just mean he got over the whole toast pet peeve, or he was actually a Skrull, and simply missed that little detail about Fury’s eating habits.

The most likely theory is that the writers of Captain Marvel didn’t really go through every single Nick Fury MCU scene and missed the fact that he ate diagonal sandwiches before. Still, it certainly isn’t in MCU’s nature to miss such details. It is, however, in their nature to plan these kinds of things… Talos, you sandwich-eating imposter!


Why, Oh Why Didn’t Nick Fury Use Captain Marvel’s Pager Earlier

Age of Ultron quote

Another scene from Avengers: Age of Ultron that supports this theory is Nick Fury’s motivational speech for the Avengers, during which he uses the phrase ‘back here on Earth.’ Back here? Huh.

That might just be a figure of speech, referring to Tony Stark’s brief outer space venture in the previous Avengers movie. Or – it could’ve been a slip-up from Talos the Skrull, kind of revealing he wasn’t actually from Earth. It’s a minor quote, but still something that could point to Fury being a Skrull all along.

Maria Hill calling Fury ‘Nick’

fury captain marvel

Another small detail that made fans question Fury’s MCU tenure is the fact that Maria Hill – his closest associate – called him ‘Nick’ several times. That’s his name, right? So, why would that mean anything?

Well, it wouldn’t mean anything if there weren’t for that scene from Captain Marvel where Carol and Fury talked. During the same conversation where he revealed the ‘toast thing,’ Fury also revealed that nobody ever calls him Nick – everybody calls him Fury. In fact, he says that even his own mother calls him Fury!

Now, the fact that Maria calls him Nick could point to their relationship being so close that she’s the only one calling him by his first name. Or, it could mean that Maria and Fury aren’t them, but Soren and Talos, who don’t really know this kind of detail. I’ll let you be the judge.

Where is Fury’s family?

Speaking of Fury’s mother, where is she? In fact, where’s anyone from his family or friends? At least, outside of the workplace? We’ve heard Fury talk about his family numerous times but never actually saw or heard from any of them.

Perhaps Fury is just a secretive guy, doing his best to separate his private life and work life. It would make sense, considering how dangerous Fury’s line of work is. Or, as some fans suggest, perhaps Fury isn’t Fury at all, and he has no friends and family on Earth outside of the workplace? It’s a far-fetched theory, but you never know.


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Where was Fury during the Endgame Battle of Earth?

Last but not least, fans pointed out that Fury was nowhere to be found for a long time in the MCU. He appeared in The Winter Soldier and briefly in Age of Ultron and then disappeared completely for about three years until that short post-credits scene in Avengers: Infinity War. 

And then, he disappeared again and was nowhere to be found during the greatest battle in MCU’s history, where virtually every MCU superhero appeared – the Endgame’s Battle of Earth. Where was Fury?

Well, theories suggest that Fury was off the planet again, and Doctor Strange and Wong chose not to bring in the Skrull versions of Fury and Maria Hill, knowing that it wasn’t their battle to fight. Or simply that they don’t need them.

I mean, sure, Fury is only human, but he proved numerous times that he’s actually a very formidable combatant – if nothing, then for strategic purposes. Wouldn’t having such a fellow in your ranks during a battle against the universe’s best tactician be necessary?

Why Nick Fury wasn’t a Skrull all along

fury talos far from home

All those arguments put together make sense and a good case that Fury might’ve been a Skrull all along since he first met the alien species in Captain Marvel. Or, at least, that he left Earth after the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and appeared sporadically – for instance, for Tony Stark’s funeral.

But, if you take any of the arguments separately, each can be interpreted differently, and you can then argue that Fury wasn’t a Skrull for that long at all. The sandwich thing? He might’ve just moved past that. Maria calling him Nick? It just shows their relationship is deeper than what Fury has with others. The Age of Ultron quote? It might’ve just been a figure of speech.

You get the point. But debunking those arguments isn’t the only thing we have to support the other theory. Here are some pieces of info suggesting that Nick Fury wasn’t a Skrull for that long – let alone since Captain Marvel.

Far From Home banter between Maria and Nick

We know that Maria and Nick in Far From Home were Skrulls. When you look back at it, their relationship is quite different than we ever saw. For instance, Maria claps back at Fury quite a lot, even in front of others, such as Happy.

While Hill is known to express her opinion openly, she never shows even a slither of disrespect or banter toward Fury, especially in front of others. That could point to the fact that Far From Home was the first time ever that we saw Talos and Soren as Nick and Maria and that the switch likely happened shortly before the movie took place.


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Skrull Fury’s naivety

Also, in Far From Home, Talos, aka Fake Fury, believes every word that Quentin Beck says. That’s actually why Mysterio’s plan worked in the first place. Even in the post-credits scene where Talos tries to explain what happened to Fury, he says how incredibly real everything looked and how good Beck’s story was.

If it was real Fury in his place, he would’ve been suspicious from the start. He trusts no one because, remember – ‘The last time I trusted someone, I lost an eye.’ He would’ve been suspicious of Beck from the start and would do everything he could to corroborate or debunk Beck’s words before engaging in action.

We’ve never seen Fury be so naive and gullible in the entire MCU. If it were Talos the entire time, wouldn’t slip-ups like this always happen to him? The reason why they never happened is that Far From Home was the only movie where Fury wasn’t Fury, but rather the naive, gullible Skrull.

Spider-Man: No Way Home quote

fury no way home

Lastly, and I believe, most importantly – there’s a quote from Spider-Man: No Way Home that actually puts a stamp on how long Fury has been off the planet.

After Mysterio revealed Peter Parker’s identity, and news broke out about him being a ‘murderer,’ police quickly arrested Spidey and his associates. While interrogating them in the station, Peter responds to the accusations by saying he’s innocent and that Nick Fury can corroborate his story.

That’s when the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent says to Peter: “Nick Fury’s been off-world for a year.”

For a year. We know that Spider-Man: No Way Home happens in November 2024 within the MCU timeline, and Spider-Man: Far From Home happens a few months prior – during the summer of 2024 when Peter’s school year was finishing, and they were all going on a trip to Europe.

Doing some simple math, it means that Fury was gone during the entire Far From Home movie (we already knew that) and left Earth sometime in 2023. Seeing that Endgame happened in 2023 within the MCU timeline. Maybe Fury went off-world after Tony Stark’s funeral.

It would fit this particular timeline of events and corroborate the agent’s words when he said Fury wasn’t on Earth for a year.

Bottom line: How long has Nick Furry been Talos, the Skrull?

fury secret invasion

So, after all that’s been said, what’s the bottom line? How long has Nick Fury actually been Talos, the Skrull? Despite the theories and arguments that Fury has been a Skrull since Captain Marvel, or at least since The Winter Soldier, it seems that the truth is – Talos replaced him right before the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home.

There’s nothing in Nick Fury’s behavior in any other movie that would suggest he was a Skrull before, other than those tiny details like the diagonal sandwiches or Maria Hill calling him Nick. Furthermore, the fact that an agent in No Way Home literally states he’s been off-world for a year should be enough for us to put other theories to rest.

At least for now, as we’re bound to learn more when the new show, Secret Invasion, premieres on Disney+. There’s currently still no exact release date other than the fact that it’ll come out somewhere in 2023. Seeing the importance of the Secret Invasion event in Marvel Comics, I’m extremely excited to see what they come up with in the MCU.

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