When Marvel first announced the cast for the upcoming Black Panther, many were happy to see the choices. The cast was revealed to be predominantly black – a sensible choice, given that the film would be taking place in the fictional African nation of Wakanda. In the lead, of course, was Chadwick Boseman, reprising the titular Black Panther T’Challa from Captain America: Civil War.
But there was someone who didn’t feel happy about the cast: Samuel L. Jackson. As it turns out, Marvel’s own Nick Fury, the longest-tenured black actor of the cinematic universe, feels snubbed from the film.
No Nick In Wakanda
In an interview with Sirius XM Radio, Jackson was on deck with Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson to promote their film Kong: Skull Island. Given that all three are now a part of the MCU (Hiddleston as the villainous Loki, Larson as the upcoming Captain Marvel), the conversation soon turned to the upcoming films. And Jackson could not help but express frustration at being left out of whatever events transpire in T’Challa’s home country.
See the interview below, with the moment coming around the 48:00 mark:
Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson are live talking about their monster blockbuster Kong: Skull Island! (Plus some hints about their Marvel characters meeting up … )
Posted by SiriusXM Radio on Monday, March 6, 2017
“We know that other people are around, but we don’t know if we’ll ever encounter them in that universe,” Jackson says, “I mean, everybody’s in different places, like, you know… I can’t go to Wakanda, for some reason.”
“Your character just can’t go there?” Larson tries to clarify.
“I’m the only black character you’ve got in the Marvel Universe right now,” Jackson exclaims, “and all of a sudden when you do the black Marvel movie, I can’t show up in Wakanda?” After a pause, he finally concedes, “Fine, I’ll meet them later.”
The “black Marvel movie” that Jackson refers to will feature an ensemble cast that includes Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Basset, Forest Whitaker, and Florence Kasumba. Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis are two non-black cast additions as well, reprising roles from previous MCU films.
Saving Fury For Later
To be fair, however, Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury isn’t the only black MCU actor not being featured in Black Panther. Don Cheadle (Colonel Rhodes, aka War Machine) isn’t going to be in the film. Neither is Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson, aka The Falcon). This is despite Wilson’s buddies Captain America and the Winter Soldier showing up in Wakanda at a mid-credits scene for Captain America: Civil War.
Most likely, Jackson was left out of Black Panther for plot purposes and nothing else. The last we saw of Fury, he was managing the fall-out of the events of Age of Ultron. Perhaps, there’s no specific reason for Fury to show up in Wakanda at that exact moment. But when T’Challa joins the Avengers for Infinity War down the line, expect that the two will meet.
Producer Kevin Feige has his eyes on the big picture. And with the runaway success of the current Marvel movies, we can trust the track record and assume the decision was for the best.
Black Panther is scheduled for a Feb. 16, 2018 release date.