I greatly enjoyed watching The Avengers, even though I've never read any of the comics. However, Nick Fury to me didn't seem to be so much of a comic book character as he was just good ol' Samuel L. Jackson.

A prime example of what I'm talking about is this exchange. (Summarized from vague memory. If anyone's got a transcript or something, please edit for accuracy.)

FURY: Turn this thing south! We need to get away from the city if we're going down!

HELMSMAN: But, sir! The navigation computers are down!

FURY: Is the sun rising in the east?

HELMSMAN: Beg your pardon, sir?

FURY: I said, is the sun rising in the east?!

HELMSMAN: Uh, yes sir!

FURY: Then put it on your left!!

Is this because Samuel L. Jackson is just that good of a fit for the character? Or was there really not that much of the real Nick Fury on the screen?

  • 2
    I was going to criticize the use of the spoiler blind, but then I realized this was actually a highlight of the movie.
    – John O
    Jul 14, 2012 at 2:25

1 Answer 1


You could say that Samuel L Jackson was a good fit for the character... But that's because the character was modeled on Samuel L Jackson. When Marvel created the Ultimate imprint, the Ultimate version of The Avengers, named The Ultimates had a newly-designed Nick Fury that was heavily modeled on Samuel L Jackson. From Wikipedia:

General Nicholas Joseph "Nick" Fury is a fictional character published by Marvel Comics. A reinterpretation of the character Nick Fury, one of the most notable differences between the two is that the mainstream Nick Fury is an Italian American colonel with graying brown hair, while this Nick Fury is a bald African American general, whose likeness specifically based upon that of actor Samuel L. Jackson (with the actor's permission).

When it came time to cast Nick Fury for the movies, who else could they pick? (As Wikipedia says, they legally couldn't go with anyone else, as Jackson negotiated for the role as part of allowing them to use his likeness in the comics)

The character in the films is pretty similar to the one in the Ultimates. A tough as nails soldier who leads SHIELD. However, in the comics, he's been given a super soldier serum which has greatly slowed his aging (he fought in WWII, that's how old he is), which the movies haven't shown to be part of that canon. In The Ultimates, Fury tends to be a bit more hands on as well, leading the group into battle on occasion, which he didn't do in the film.

  • 1
    Didn't know about SLJ having a contract to play Nick Fury. Thanks for the info! Jul 14, 2012 at 7:07
  • 1
    It's interesting to note that the Universe 616 Fury has even more of a "tough guy" attitude than the Ultimates/movie one. Not to say anything about his language.
    – Wilerson
    Jul 14, 2012 at 13:34
  • Another interesting note, reading further into the Wiki article, is that SLJ didn't even realize his likeness was being used until after the comic was published. That was when he contacted Marvel to secure the role in future films.
    – Iszi
    Feb 10, 2015 at 15:33

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