After staging a last-minute rescue and ultimate comeback in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, the espionage and security agency S.H.I.E.L.D. (Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division) has been absent in the most recent Marvel movies. Outside of being mentioned in an off-handed remark or staging an action set-piece in one of their buildings, S.H.I.E.L.D. hasn't been doing much since returning from the deep shadows.
Now, Samuel L. Jackson gave some assurance that his character Nick Fury and the agency S.H.I.E.L.D. will in fact be seen in the near future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Fury On S.H.I.E.L.D.
When Coming Soon asked if Nick Fury would be seen again in the future, Jackson went into detail about the retun of both his characte and the agency Fury commands. He also joked about his character's absence during one of the MCU's most pressing fights in Captain America: Civil War.
Yeah! For sure, definitely. Why wouldn’t there be? There’s some way of fixing what they created, and hopefully somebody has that going on or Nick Fury is out there — wherever he is, probably hanging out with Jules and walking the world — figuring out what happened and how it got to that particular place. Maybe they’ll find out that all that was part of a ruse to get to something else also. That would be great. They’ll bring me back somehow, some way, for some reason. I mean, they didn’t have me around to referee the kids when they didn’t go to their rooms and got in this big old fight. We’ll see what happens.
While Jackson didn't clarify which upcoming Marvel movie will set the stage for Fury's return, it's nice to know that his character and S.H.I.E.L.D. will be seen again even if it's a forgone conclusion for some. Jackson only has two more films left to play Fury after Age Of Ultron before Marvel has to decide whether or not to renew his contract, so it may be wise for the studio to use his appearances sparingly while the films' writers figure out where Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. will be in the long run.
UPDATE: Jackson just confirmed that Nick Fury will return for Avengers: Infinity War and the untitled fourth Avengers movie.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. Legacy
Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. may be supporting characters, but they are still an irreplaceable presence in the MCU. Fury has been Marvel's connective tissue ever since the MCU began in Iron Man's post-credits scene. He did so by spending most of Phase 1 recruiting potential members for the Avengers Initiative, on and off the screen. The director of S.H.I.E.L.D. also makes a good group counselor for the Avengers. Given how heated their arguments tend to be, Fury is more important than Marvel's heroes may admit.
His supposed death and the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D. after being infiltrated by HYDRA also signaled a shift in the political scales of the MCU, and their return brought back a semblance of order.
The organization's absence also brought up multiple plot holes in the MCU, a testament to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s relevance in the overarching Marvel narrative. Up until today, fans wonder why S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't seem interested in the unfolding chaos of Hell's Kitchen and why Fury didn't intervene during the politically charged events of Civil War.
Whatever happens in Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. has yet to be brought up in the MCU, and the series itself has few ties to the movies outside of Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), cameos from characters in the Marvel films and certain mentions of events in the MCU. Despite their importance, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Fury only appear when the plot deems it necessary.
This may change now that the MCU's world governments are shown to have a more vocal presence than before. That and of course, there's a new Avengers movie and another global threat coming up. The arrival of the morally questionable agent Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and the return of General Thadeus "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt) in Civil War marked the start of a harsher political climate in the MCU, and S.H.I.E.L.D. could serve as the buffer between the worlds' governments and Marvel's heroes.
As the MCU continues to evolve from a collection of campy superhero adventures to a more contemporary take on superpowers' real world ramifications, the Avengers need Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. now more than ever.
[Source: Coming Soon]