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Why Nick Fury Was Missing From The Final Avengers: Endgame Battle

The climactic final battle of Avengers: Endgame included practically every hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — with one notable exception.

At San Diego Comic-Con, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely revealed that they couldn't find a place for Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in the melee for one simple reason: he just wouldn't have been that much help. (via ComicBook.com)

You'll recall that in Endgame's climax, the 2014 version of Thanos — having been alerted to the Avengers' time-traveling quest to acquire the Infinity Stones due to the sudden presence of a duplicate Nebula on his timeline — showed up in the film's present day of 2023 with a vast army in tow, intent on leveling the team's compound and swiping the stones. Unfortunately for him, he arrived too late to stop Bruce Banner from using a Tony Stark-assembled Infinity Gauntlet to revive all of the heroes who were dusted in Avengers: Infinity War. In one of Endgame's most rousing moments, said heroes arrive to the battle via dozens of sling ring portals, with fan favorites such as Black Panther, Spider-Man, Bucky Barnes, and most of the Guardians of the Galaxy all featured prominently — but, there was no Fury in sight.

Markus addressed Fury's absence in deadpan fashion at Marvel's Comic-Con panel. "I don't think we ever [included him in the sequence]," he said. "It was [because] we have such a traffic jam of heroes and so much power, that to have a guy who, in combat, would just be firing a gun... it doesn't come off well for Nick Fury, frankly."

Markus has a point. It might have seemed a bit out of place to have the superspy running around taking potshots at the invading alien horde when you have Iron Man and Rescue just lighting everything up, Scott Lang in Giant-Man mode punching a Chitauri leviathan in whatever passes for its face, Drax the Destroyer just going bananas on everything with a pair of huge swords... and, well, Barnes sitting back taking potshots with an assault rifle. Apparently, simply being a guy with a gun in a force full of superpowered heroes is fine as long as you have a metal arm.

Of course, Fury is seen among the mourners at Tony Stark's funeral at the film's conclusion, his only appearance in which the famously verbose former S.H.I.E.L.D. director doesn't say a word. He may not have gotten any badass one-liners or awesome action beats in the biggest film of all time, but Jackson received a heck of a consolation prize by way of being prominently featured in Marvel Studios' other 2019 releases: Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home, both of which thrilled fans, wowed critics, and grossed over a billion dollars worldwide. 

The nine-picture deal which Jackson originally signed with Marvel Studios came to a close with Captain Marvel, but obviously, that doesn't mean much — although whether a new deal is in place or Jackson is simply considering Marvel projects as they're offered at this point hasn't been made public. But, it sure looks like Fury will continue to play a key role in the MCU moving forward; one of Far From Home's mid-credits stingers revealed that he's currently in space, working on some undisclosed project aboard a Skrull vessel (and that the Fury who had thrown a wrench into Peter Parker's vacation plans during the flick's main plot had been the Skrull Talos, impersonating the real deal at Fury's request).

The Skrulls, introduced in Captain Marvel, are all but certain to figure into the events of the MCU during Phase 4 — and whatever it is they're currently up to, Fury is up to his eyeballs in it. This, paired with the fact that Jackson has proclaimed that he's more than willing to continue portraying the superspy into his 80s (he's currently 70, believe it or not), indicates that we'll be seeing plenty more of Fury onscreen in the years to come.

For that matter, Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige has recently disclosed that there will indeed be a new team of Avengers at some point in the future, one which will look quite a bit different from the squad that we're used to. Who better to put that team together than Fury? It's not like anyone can deny that his selections worked out pretty well the first time.