A new Disney+ series set to follow Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury is in development and poised to play its part in altering the course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it enters Phase 4. Considering Nick Fury's impact on the franchise so far, surely the announcement indicates the continued use of the character as its connective tissue, even as the MCU veers further and further into the strange and intergalactic.
The last time fans saw Nick Fury was during Spider-Man: Far From Home's end-credits scene, with the one-eyed super spy waking up on a Skrull space craft, indicating a big shift for the tough-as-nails intelligence operative. With SHIELD effectively disbanded in Captain America: Winter Soldier, it appears as though the organization S.W.O.R.D. will take its place - a theory all but confirmed with WandaVision set photos. Considering Nick Fury's history of using his prodigious skill and well-laid contingency plans to protect Earth, he would be a wise choice to lead the agency.
In the comics, S.W.O.R.D., or the "Sentient World Observation and Response Department," is a counterterrorism group that primarily deals with threats from outer-space, but with its role in WandaVision, it looks as though that definition will expand, dealing with threats from humanity's on-planet residents, as well. In the trailer for the WandaVision series, numerous S.W.O.R.D. agents swarm the barricade surrounding Westview (the town under Wanda's reality-bending spell), including a grown-up Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Paris). Considering the character's history with Fury, as seen in the 90s-set Captain Marvel (played by child actor Akira Akbar), perhaps she will be featured in the eventual Nick Fury series as his mentee and colleague. Additionally, both S.W.O.R.D.-associated characters may also play larger role in Captain Marvel 2, which is set to be released as Phase 4's final entry.
However, if Nick Fury's Disney+ show truly ends up following his work with S.W.O.R.D. in the wake of the Thanos-inflicted chaos, it is possible that the intelligence-seeking agent's first order of business will be to research the super villain's origins; a rabbit hole that will eventually lead him to the Eternals, the species from which Thanos descends in the comics. Eternals - who's release was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic - is expected to depict the MCU's ancient history while following the god-like species. The Chloé Zhao-directed film has been noted as an odd departure for the series, but with the entrance of the formerly Fox-owned mutants on the horizon, it has been theorized that Eternals will set up the MCU's long-awaited iterations of the X-Men.
With so much content already on its way, it is unlikely that Marvel's Merry Mutants will play an active part in the MCU's Phase 4. But with the inevitable inclusion of the comic line's popular super hero team into the universe, the creators will have to do some leg work to establish where mutants have been these last several years. Considering his history of discovering and assembling super powered beings, it is possible that Fury's accumulation of intelligence will uncover the evolved form of humanity, a theory enhanced by the fact that the character is featured throughout the Ultimate X-Men comics - notably, the series set in the Ultimate Universe, which informed much of the Infinity Saga's storylines and tone.
Nick Fury has proved himself one of the MCU's most important and influential figures, easily flitting between the franchise's earth-bound and space-set adventures across several MCU movies. With the announcement of his solo Disney+ show, it appears as though he will continue his role in connecting the wider universe and expanding its potential. With the character's extensive history and incredible resources, the development of this series is one that fans will want to watch with both eyes open.