After six months of waiting for the next instalment in the sensational Marvel saga, Captain Marvel has finally hit theatres.
So to celebrate the release earlier this week we were called to a top-secret location – okay it was a hotel, not a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier – to talk to the man who put the Avengers together, Samuel L. Jackson, to chat about Captain Marvel.
Mr Jackson – Sam to me, now we’re such firm friends – has, of course, played Nick Fury across 11 different films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but chronologically this is the first time we see him.
To kick things off then we thought we’d begin by asking Sam how he approached playing a younger, inexperienced and softer version of the ass-kicking colonel.
You know you just have to be a bit more, a little more energetic number one because you’re younger and number two not as all-knowing and world-weary as Fury generally is.
And you have to be a bit more open to whatever’s going on around him, even in terms of meeting someone who dresses funny and tells you they’re from a place you don’t believe in because they look like you and talk like you.
We also touched on the remarkable process of de-ageing actors that Marvel Studios has been employed in other films, like Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy, to such great effect.
The process is called Lola and it [smirking] hurts a lot it was really painful.
No, though there’s nothing I have to do, you know I saw the beginning of the process which they did with Michael [Douglas] and Kurt [Russell] in Guardians so I knew what it was going to look like.
Then they start talking about different films that they want to base my look on and to see what my face was like so it sort of ends up being a Long Kiss Goodbye face, there’s all sorts of films I did that you can look at and go ‘oh yeah that’s that guy’.
You know you got dots on your face but that didn’t bother me because other people got to look at them so I was fine.
It’s interesting to note that despite being such an integral part of the Marvel Universe Fury has, for the most part, played second fiddle to the superpowered beings he recruited.
Thankfully Captain Marvel remedies this for the most part by giving him his meatiest role since the Russo brothers’ wonderful Winter Soldier film.
Still, I was interested to know whether he’d be interested in a potential Nick Fury standalone film, and it seemed Sam did have some idea of what he’d want the film to be about.
[If we were to do it] I’d like to know what he was doing in his shadow world spy work before the Avengers… I imagine he worked with Black Widow.
He went on to add that if Scarlet Johansson is up for making an appearance in his film then he’d love to have her on-board.
Inevitably though the conversation moved on to the future of the MCU and the next Marvel film Avengers: Endgame.
As you might expect for a man who’s spent the last decade of his life playing the world’s greatest spy – don’t @ me Bond fans – he was pretty tight-lipped about the whole thing.
Really? Trying to get a little Endgame information out of me? Trying huh? Well, good try.
Even when I pushed him on it – dodging the patented Disney Spoiler Snipers™ as I did so – Sam refused to tell me anything about the film, which makes sense considering the last we saw of him was turning to dust.
Desperate for any hint about where the MCU is going after Endgame I even went so far as to explain to Samuel L. Jackson about the running theory that Marvel is building to a Secret Invasion storyline.
All I got in return was a stern ‘[that’s] above my pay grade’ for my efforts, which isn’t technically a ‘no’ but is definitely not a ‘yes that’s what we’re doing next’.
Pivoting away from Marvel stuff, because it was clear I’d lost the room a bit with my deep dive into comicbook shenanigans, I asked whether there was any other character Sam’s played over his storied career he’s like to return to.
I always wanted to do another Long Kiss Goodnight, just to see what’s going on in that particular part of the world with Charlie Baltimore and that character, you know the bumbling detective, to see if he ever got any better or any worse.
Not that I think he got much better. Just that he probably has a different outlook on the world.
At this point, the interview was winding down though so I asked my final question and I’m not going to lie he broke my heart.
You see in Captain Marvel Nick Fury has a great relationship with the cat Goose, so I wanted to know if he was a cat person.
And that when he unfortunately said:
I am not! But I’m also not a bird, dog or fish person either, I just don’t have pets I don’t have time.
Captain Marvel is in cinemas now
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More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.