Note: Contains Captain Marvel spoilers.

For someone who’s supposed to work in secrecy, Nick Fury sure does appear on our screens a lot. Over the past decade, Samuel L Jackson has starred in more Marvel movies than almost any other actor and during this time, fans have grown to love the gruff director of SHIELD.

One of the best things about Captain Marvel is how it works as an origin story for Nick Fury too, taking us back to a time before the job took its toll on him. Far more easygoing, this younger version of Jackson’s character takes things less seriously and even seems pretty chill about losing his eye. When you compare this to Fury in the modern era, it’s almost like he’s a different person completely…

Captain Marvel, Samuel L. Jackson as a younger Nick Fury

Marvel Studios

Well, a new fan theory doing the rounds online suggests that the Fury we’ve come to know and love over the past ten years isn’t who we think he is and it’s all thanks to those pesky Skrulls.

In Captain Marvel, it’s established that the best way to determine whether someone’s a Skrull is to ask them for a strange, highly specific detail about their life. When the aliens mimic other creatures, they don’t assimilate this kind of information, so if they struggle for an answer, it’s likely that they’re not who you think they are.

Captain Marvel, Skrulls

Marvel Studios

When Carol Danvers tries this test out on Fury, he decides to tell her that “If toast is cut diagonally, I can’t eat it.” This seemingly innocuous detail passed most audiences by, but Reddit user PowerRangersLOL claims that Fury eats some diagonally cut bread in the kitchen scene from Avengers: Age of Ultron (although we checked and it’s hard to say either way as far as we’re concerned).

Could this be evidence that Fury has actually been a Skrull all along? Or is this just the kind of continuity error one might expect from a franchise 21 movies deep?

While we’re leaning heavily towards the latter, there is one more detail which suggests that Fury might not be who he says he is.

When Captain Marvel first lands on earth, she’s pursued by four Skrulls. Their leader Talos escapes with his family and his science buddy is murdered by Yon-Rogg. A third Skrull also dies in a car crash with Nick Fury, but what happened to the fourth unnamed alien? We never see them again.

Captain Marvel, Skrulls

Marvel Studios

Maybe he just slipped away after Talos made direct contact with Carol and Maria Rambeau – but it’s also possible that the fourth Skrull could have replaced Fury at some point too. If the Skrulls did want to infiltrate Earth, impersonating people in government would be the way to go and this would also explain why Jackson’s character seems so different in the films that took place since.

Of course, these ‘changes’ can also be chalked down to Fury simply maturing as a character. Being director of SHIELD must be stressful to say the least and that must have taken its toll over the years.

Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury in Spider-Man Far from Home


However, it’s still possible that the fourth Skrull could play an important role later down the line. After all, Marvel boss Kevin Feige hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a Secret Invasion movie happening in the future.

In this popular comic book storyline, the Skrulls infiltrate the Avengers and replace some of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes with some of their own. If not Fury, then perhaps the fourth Skrull could have replaced someone else like Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross or Everett Ross (no relation), sowing the seeds for a future adaptation of this story.

Whether this turns out to be true or not, the Avengers have enough on their plate right now trying to stop Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. With all that’s going on post-snap, missing lizard people aren’t exactly high on the agenda right now – although that could all change once we hit Phase 4.

Captain Marvel is out now.

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