Avengers 4 looks set to properly introduce time travel into the MCU, as it’s thought that the heroes who survived Infinity War will journey back through the events of the past ten years and revisit some of the older movies in the franchise. Given that, it’s got fans looking at previous films in a new light. For instance – now hear us out – maybe Nick Fury’s cameo in Avengers: Age of Ultron saw him traveling from the future?
Reddit user @Splingles came up with the concept based on what we know about Avengers 4. The individual looked back at Fury’s scenes in the first Avengers sequel and noticed some potential extra meaning in his dialogue with Tony Stark and the rest of the heroes at Clint Barton’s farmhouse.
Here’s how the theory goes:
I rewatched Avengers: Age of Ultron recently, and came across an odd bit of dialogue that really stuck out in light of events in Avengers: Infinity War and rumors about Avengers 4. When Nick Fury drops in on The Avengers at the farm, he does two things: he tries to talk Tony Stark into dropping his efforts into making super robots, and he gives the whole team a pep talk and starts the conversation that eventually leads to the creation of Vision.
With the hint / common theory that time travel is somehow involved in Avengers 4, it got me thinking: what if this was a future or past version of Nick Fury, dropping in on a crucial point to interfere with history, or to shepherd events in a particular direction?
A few things to consider:
When Fury surprises Tony in the barn, it’s Tony who says, “Who told you we were here, Maria Hill, right?” … and Fury changes the subject.
Then, Fury starts to try to talk Tony out of working on Artificial Intelligence. I think this is a big deal, because he must be aware that the quickest way to motivate Tony Stark is to tell him he can’t do something. Fury starts the conversation about AI, but it’s Tony who changes the subject to his fears about the future.
Later, Fury gives the team details about Ultron. This makes sense for both present Nick and (potentially time-traveler) Nick.
But, he says: “Back in the day, I had eyes everywhere. Ears, everywhere else. You kids had all the tech you could dream up. Now, here we all are, back on Earth, with nothing but our wit, and our will to save the world.” This struck me as odd, because when have we ever seen Nick Fury not on Earth? And who is the “we” that he means?
Also, it’s this conversation that sparks the brainstorming that ends up with Vision — and watching how Nick Fury guides the discussion, it begs the question: is he steering them to create Vision, and think that it was their idea?
My theory: This is not the Nick Fury they know from their present. This is a time-traveling Nick Fury who is there to make sure Vision is created with the infinity stone. This version of Nick Fury has been to space with The Avengers, which at the time of Age of Ultron, hasn’t happened yet for them.
Of course, all of these lines do make sense in context. For instance, “back on earth” presumably refers to the fact that the gang were previously based in the airborne S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. That said, it’s possible to read more into Fury’s appearance here. We definitely seemed to have missed an important chunk of his life where he and Maria Hill have resurrected a part of S.H.I.E.L.D. Though, to be fair, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. touches on this.
There’s also the fact that Fury’s currently deceased. Seeing as the former S.H.I.E.L.D. director was turned to dust by Thanos, how could he go back to the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron? Well, actually, we might already have evidence that Fury will be among those revived in Avengers 4. That’s because he’s going to appear in Spider-Man: Far From Home, alongside Hill.
Whether he’s time traveling or not, then, it looks like we’ll have more of Nick Fury in the franchise’s future. And, confusingly, also its past, as Samuel L. Jackson’s set to reprise his role in Captain Marvel, which takes place in the 1990s. Hey, maybe that movie will also feature a Fury from the future?