We always like to say how there wouldn’t be the Marvel Cinematic Universe we have today if it wasn’t for the first Iron Man movie, starring Robert Downey Jr., that started it all. And yes, that’s true. When the first Iron Man movie was released, the MCU was just an idea that rarely someone believed could become a reality. And now, 15 years later, here we are. Although Robert Downey Jr. parted his way with the franchise after 11 long years in Avengers: Endgame, it’s interesting that he isn’t the longest-running actor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Samuel L. Jackson first appeared as Nick Fury in the original Iron Man movie in 2008. Although Nick Fury is a supporting character compared to all the superheroes MCU has, Jackson is currently the biggest acting veteran who ever took part in the MCU. It’s been fifteen years since he debuted as Nick Fury, and there’s still no telling when and where he’ll portray the character for one last time. This year we’ll watch him in two projects, the upcoming Secret Invasion series, where he’ll be the main character for the first time, and later this year in The Marvels. So, while we’re waiting for those projects, let’s take a look at every MCU movie and TV show in which Nick Fury has appeared so far.
How many MCU projects has Nick Fury appeared in?
Samuel L. Jackson played Nick Fury in even more projects than we might think at first. Since he debuted in the original Iron Man movie in 2008, Jackson has played the character in 11 movies. He also reprised the role in two episodes of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD on ABC and voiced the character in four episodes of the What If…? animated series on Disney+. These won’t be all MCU projects in which Jackson played Nick Fury. This year, we’ll watch him in one more movie and one more TV series.
MCU projects featuring Nick Fury in order (at a glance)
We can all agree that Samuel L. Jackson was absolutely a spot-on casting for the role of Nick Fury. What’s more, the fans have huge luck that the legendary actor really enjoys this role, and he wants to play it for as long as possible, which resulted in so many projects in which he played Nick Fury. Let’s take a look at all the movies and TV shows in which Samuel L. Jackson has played the role of Nick Fury so far.
- Iron Man (2008)**
- Iron Man 2 (2010)
- Thor (2011)**
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
- The Avengers (2012)
- Agents of SHIELD*, S01E02 (2013) and S01E22 (2014)
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018)**
- Captain Marvel (2019)
- Avengers: Endgame (2019)
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
- What If…? (2021)*, four episodes
** In the post-credit scene
Compared to all the superheroes MCU introduced to the big screen during its 15 years of existence, Nick Fury has always played the supporting role. Still, Jackson’s performance and his charisma have helped him make Nick Fury one of the fan-favorite characters in the franchise.
Are MCU projects featuring Nick Fury connected? Do you need to watch them in a specific order?
MCU projects are mainly connected all together. But Nick Fury is generally a supporting character, so it’s not necessarily needed to watch movies with him in some specific order. Don’t get us wrong. It’s recommended that you watch these movies chronologically or by release date to understand the context of the story, not Nick Fury’s character. Everything that Nick Fury does in each of his appearances is mostly understandable for the context of that certain movie, but you’d probably need knowledge from some previous movies to understand that certain movie as a part of the bigger franchise.
What is the best way to watch MCU projects featuring Nick Fury?
Just like in the case of Star Wars, we know there are two kinds of MCU fans; those who watch the entire franchise chronologically and those who watch the entire franchise by release date. What is the best way to watch them if you look only at Nick Fury’s part of the story? Well, it doesn’t really matter. True, some will say that chronologically makes more sense since we got to see younger Nick Fury in 2019’s Captain Marvel, which is chronologically the second movie in the franchise after Captain America: The First Avenger, and it also uncovered some things from Fury’s past.
But on the other hand, when we look at the franchise as a whole, you don’t need to know Nick Fury’s past to understand everything that happened to him in the movies released before Captain Marvel. Apart from the fact that that movie revealed how he lost his eye, which was made, many fans agree, pretty anticlimactic. It’s up to you to pick the order you prefer, and in the next paragraphs, we’ll list his MCU appearances by release date.
MCU projects featuring Nick Fury in order (by release date)
Iron Man (2008)
It’s already widely known how important the original Iron Man movie was. Like we said a billion times before: it’s a movie that started it all! And we definitely wouldn’t be watching this MCU today if Iron Man hadn’t had such a strong start in both critical and commercial ways. Apart from the first movie introducing Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man, the movie also marked the first appearance of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in its post-credit scene. Fury introduced himself to Tony Stark, telling him that Iron Man wasn’t the only superhero in the world and that they needed to discuss something called the Avengers Initiative.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
After the original Iron Man opened the gate towards building the Marvel Cinematic Universe, its sequel served as the next step in building it. The movie introduced Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, who served as the MCU’s main heroine for the next 11 years.
Samuel L. Jackson reprised the role in the movie when he explained that Natasha works for him at SHIELD. Fury also revealed to Tony how his father, Howard, was one of the SHIELD founders, and he explained to him what happened between Howard and Anton Vanko, the father of the movie’s main villain Ivan Vanko. Although Fury and Stark have been discussing the Avenger Initiative as well, Fury later told Stark that SHIELD would like to have him only as a consultant due to his difficult personality.
Earlier MCU movies were mostly made as standalone movies in which only the supporting characters served as the connection between them. Clark Gregg’s Phil Coulson and Jackson’s Nick Fury were some of those characters. The original Thor movie introduced Marvel’s incarnation of God of Thunder to the big screen, and Jackson reprised the role once again in the post-credit scene. Erik Selving has met with Fury, who showed him the Tesseract. Invisible to them, Loki also appears in the scene, setting up his return in The Avengers.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Only two months after God of Thunder joined the MCU in the original Thor movie, it was time for Chris Evans’ Captain America to join the party. Most of the movie takes place during World War 2, following Steve Rogers’ path as the world’s first super-soldier. Seventy years later, after Steve Rogers woke up from the ice, he found himself at SHIELD, where Nick Fury explained to him what happened. This was the third time Nick Fury appeared only in a cameo role to create a connection between those first origin movies in the MCU.
The Avengers (2012)
After appearing in multiple MCU movies in small roles, Nick Fury earned more screen time in The Avengers, the climax of MCU’s Phase 1. After Loki stole the Tesseract and brainwashed Erik Selving and Clint Barton, Fury reactivated the Avengers Initiative, which eventually assembled Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, and Hawkeye into a crossover that wasn’t seen on the big screen before. Nick Fury showed up in every movie of MCU’s Phase 1 except The Incredible Hulk.
Agents of SHIELD (2013–2020)
At the time of its release, The Avengers achieved success like no superhero movie before it. It was the third-highest-grossing movie ever at the time of its release, and apart from the fact that it gave the MCU additional boost in going forward, it was responsible for further expansions of the franchise.
In 2013, Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen created a spin-off series with Clark Gregg returning as Phil Coulson, even though the character was killed off in The Avengers. Apart from Coulson, the series introduced a new gallery of characters, but Nick Fury, as the official director of SHIELD at the time, still appeared in two episodes; the second episode of the first season (2013) and the last episode of the first season (2014).
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
After The Avengers, 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier was also one of the most important movies for the character of Nick Fury. With HYDRA again stronger inside SHIELD’s walls, Nick Fury survives an assassination attempt. He warns Steve Rogers not to trust anyone before he is murdered.
Or at least that’s what we thought. The movie later reveals that Fury faked his death to cover his tracks from HYDRA, and ultimately he assists Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon, and Maria Hill to stop HYDRA’s plan, but they also publicly expose all of SHIELD’s files to the world. After that, Fury lost his position as the director of SHIELD. He destroyed all the traces of his former life and went into hiding.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Although he went into hiding, Nick Fury still returned to Avengers: Age of Ultron to assist the team in a battle against Ultron. After showing up at Barton’s farm and talking with Tony Stark and the other Avengers, he showed up with the Helicarrier that was kept off the records for emergencies only. With the help of War Machine, the Avengers managed to evacuate the people of Sokovia before the town was ultimately destroyed after a battle against Ultron.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Nick Fury didn’t appear in Avengers: Infinity War until the post-credit scene. After Thanos’ snap, half of the universe started to disintegrate. Fury and his assistant Maria Hill were also victims of the snap. But before he disappeared, Fury used his pager to call Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, to help the Avengers save the universe.
Captain Marvel (2019)
The original Captain Marvel movie was released between Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, but it was a prequel with its events taking place in 1995. Samuel L. Jackson reprised the role as digitally de-aged Nick Fury long before he was director of SHIELD. The movie offered us some answers about Fury’s past through dialogues with Brie Larson’s titular character. The movie also showed us how Nick Fury got his famous eyepatch, although we can agree that path was a bit anticlimactic.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Nick Fury was one of the trillion victims of Thanos’ snap. Fortunately, surviving members of the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy managed to pull off their time heist to find all the Infinity Stones and bring everyone back to life. Nick Fury didn’t have a huge role in the movie but was present at Tony Stark’s funeral after the final battle.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
After Tony Stark’s death, Nick Fury decided to take a galactic vacation on the Skrulls’ spaceship. Meanwhile, his Skrull friend Talos and his wife Soren shapeshifted into Fury and Maria Hill, who appeared in this movie, while the real Nick Fury appeared only in, you guessed it, a post-credit scene, which revealed that Fury and Hill in the movie were Skrulls all along. The post-credit scene of this movie has set up a stage for the upcoming Secret Invasion series.
What If…? (2021)
If you’re an MCU fan or at least a subscriber to Disney+, you probably know what is Marvel’s What If…?. The first animated MCU series explored various alternate timelines in the Multiverse in which key moments from the MCU occurred differently. As one of the major MCU characters, Nick Fury appeared in four out of nine first season episodes, with Jackson reprising his role.
Where to watch MCU projects featuring Nick Fury?
Samuel L. Jackson never tried to hide how much he enjoyed playing the role of Nick Fury, which shows why he remained loyal to the franchise for so long, and there’s no telling how many projects we could potentially see him in the future. As for the movies and TV shows that were released so far, all of them can be streamed on Disney+, which is a home for all the Marvel movies that Disney has rights to.
Will there be more MCU projects featuring Nick Fury?
Samuel L. Jackson is one of the biggest MCU veterans, and when you’re part of something like this for so long, someone will always wonder when your character will reach the end of the line. Thankfully, we’re glad to say that Jackson won’t go anywhere, at least not this year.
After playing the supporting role in so many MCU movies, Samuel L. Jackson will finally get a chance to play a main role in Secret Invasion, an upcoming Disney+ mini-series which is based on the known homonymous comic book. The series is a follow-up to Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From, and it’ll follow Nick Fury, Talos, and their allies in an effort to stop rogue Skrulls who are trying to infiltrate Earth.
After Secret Invasion, which will run for six episodes, Samuel L. Jackson will reprise his role one more time in The Marvels, an upcoming sequel to Captain Marvel, which will assemble Carol Danvers, Monica Rambeau, and Kamala Khan into a titular team who will try to defeat a new villain while also dealing with side effects of their entangled powers. Fury will return in a supporting role as Monica’s co-worker and Carol’s friend.
Apart from these two upcoming projects, it is expected that Jackson will reprise the voice role of Nick Fury in the upcoming second season of What If…? After that, it’s unknown if Jackson signed for role MCU appearances, but the MCU is going forward, and it will be interesting to see if Kevin Feige has more plans for Jackson’s character in the future of the franchise.
Created by Kyle Bradstreet, the Secret Invasion series is set to premiere on June 21, 2023, exclusively on Disney+. Directed by Nia DaCosta, The Marvels movie is set to premiere in theaters worldwide on November 10, 2023.