Comic Book Legends Revealed #418
Welcome to the four hundred and eighteenth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and seventeen. This week, did Marvel get Samuel L. Jackson to be Nick Fury BEFORE they used him as the basis for Ultimate Nick Fury? Plus, how did a typo (that was later edited out) give a clue to a future Spider-Man storyline? And speaking of Spider-Man and edits, how did Marvel “fix” a classic Spider-Man story in a reprint?
NOTE: The column is on three pages, a page for each legend. There’s a little “next” button on the top of the page and the bottom of the page to take you to the next page (and you can navigate between each page by just clicking on the little 1, 2 and 3 on the top and the bottom, as well).
COMIC LEGEND: Marvel had permission from Samuel L. Jackson before using his likeness for Ultimate Nick Fury.
STATUS: I’m Going With False
Samuel L. Jackson famously plays Nick Fury in Marvel Studios’ hit Avengers films…
He’s been so popular that Marvel has even introduced a black son of the “real” Nick Fury so that there is a matching Nick Fury in the Marvel Universe for new readers from the films…
However, what came first, Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch basing Ultimate Nick Fury on Samuel L. Jackson…
(something they even joked about in the comic)…
or Marvel making an arrangement with Samuel L. Jackson to portray Nick Fury in any possible films (and as a tie-in, then, based Ultimate Nick Fury on him)?
Reader Daniel K. heard the latter and wrote in about it awhile back…
A friend of mine told me that when Marvel started their Ultimate line of titles, they modeled the Ultimate Nick Fury after Samuel L. Jackson with the knowledge that he would be playing Fury in the newest Marvel movies. I looked this up on Wikipedia, and it’s apparently true, but it has no citations and of course you know how dubious Wikipedia can sometimes be. I was wondering if you may be able to shed some light on this myth.
As it turns out, it is close, Daniel, but no cigar. Reader Jesse ALSO wrote in about it, and Jesse’s version of events is basically the truth…
I remember reading somewhere that Marvel’s Ultimate Nick Fury looks and acts like Samuel L. Jackson, because Marvel was hoping to get Sam to play Fury in a Marvel film. Am I remembering this correctly?
That appears to be the case, Jesse, that Marvel was interested in the idea of Jackson playing Nick Fury (or rather, he was on their wish list for the role), so they went ahead with Bryan Hitch making Ultimate Nick Fury look like Jackson and when Jackson contacted them upon seeing the likeness, they THEN asked him if he was interested in the role (which he naturally was).
Jackson described the situation in an interview with Noelene Clark at Hero Complex last year…
It was kind of weird. I just happened to be in a comic store, and I picked up the comic because I saw my face. And I was like, ‘Wait a minute, I’m not sure I remember giving somebody permission to use my image.’
So he contacted Marvel…
They were kind of like, ‘Yeah, we are planning on making movies, and we do hope you’ll be a part of them.’
Obviously, the plan paid off (if there actually WAS a plan, which I am not necessarily saying that there was – I could easily see it being a case of Marvel just telling Jackson so when he inquired. Either way seems believable to me), because he WAS a part of them! A BIG part of them!
Thanks to Daniel and Jesse for the suggestions and thanks to Noelene Clark and Samuel L. Jackson for the info!
Check out some Entertainment Urban Legends Revealed!
What Kind of Strange Race Against Time Did Frank Sinatra Do When Recording “Strangers in the Night?”
On the next page, see how Marvel dropped an accidental hint towards their future plans for Spider-Man 2099!