Nick Fury has been overdue for his own story. His introduction came in the very first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, when Jackson turned up in a post-credit sequence to tell Iron Man, “You’ve become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet.”
Over the next 15 years of movies, only scarce details about Fury’s past have emerged. We know he joined the Army straight out of high school, that he became an vital government operative who rose to the highest level of S.H.I.E.L.D. before its collapse, and that he began the Avengers Initiative because he recognized that threats to the world were growing so big that the planet needed to upgrade their superhero protection policy.
But Secret Invasion finds him worn out. “Even Nick Fury can be shaken, you know?” Jackson says. One reason his character has been off in space, ignoring calls for help, is that he doesn’t believe he can fix things anymore. “He’s up there trying to process what the fuck happened, you know? And what his place in the world is,” Jackson says. “The death of Iron Man, the death of Black Widow, with that stuff going on he just kind of checked out.”
Fury used to see more clearly—even if he did lose an eye in Captain Marvel when he was scratched by an alien creature posing as a house cat. That’s a plot point in Secret Invasion, too.
Fans have noted that in this show he no longer wears his signature eyepatch, but Jackson reveals that’s a character choice for this series. Fury hasn’t been miraculously healed. “He just doesn’t wear the patch. The patch is part of who the strong Nick Fury was,” Jacksons says. “It’s part of his vulnerability now. You can look at it and see he’s not this perfectly indestructible person. He doesn’t feel like that guy.”
“There’s nobody here who’s glossy and ready for action in a spandex one-piece,” Smulders adds. “I mean, my wardrobe alone has changed so much since the original film. I was in platform knee-high boots, and a skintight leotard in the Avengers movie. And I’m in a straight-up jeans and tee in this one.”