Samuel L. Jackson has been a part of the MCU from the very start. His post-credits appearance as Nick Fury in 2008’s Iron Man kicked off the whole concept of an interconnected universe, which is still going strong 11 years and 23 films later.
While doing press for next week’s Spider-Man: Far Form Home, Jackson was asked by CinemaBlend for his insight as to why the MCU films have not only become successful, but genuine phenomenons. His answer is nothing short of marvelous:
“I think one of the essential elements is that they have figured out how to tell the ‘people’ part of it. Even superheroes, in a specific way, the ones that don’t have secret identities… they take the superheroes and use their personalities to create a kinsmanship between you and them. You can find things in each of those characters that relate to you in a very specific way.
The Marvel playbook has this really great way of creating set pieces that are exciting that still involve enough jeopardy for these people who have these powers that you still think something might happen, and now we do know that they don’t always make it. So we’ve created another whole phenomenon that allows them to be genuine in a way that’s not indestructibly super, like some of these other things are.”
There’s a lot to break down here. First off, Jackson’s entire philosophy for Marvel’s success harkens back to the earliest days of the comic book publisher: these heroes are real people with real problems and real personalities. They’re not Greek God facsimiles that have never known defeat. In fact, if last year’s Avengers: Infinity War proves anything, it’s that these heroes know how to take an ass kicking. But it’s the way they handle their wins and loses that audiences around the globe find relatable and will always have them coming back for more.
Jackson goes on to note that Marvel has done a great job actually placing these characters in jeopardy, often raising the stakes in ways that don’t feel cheap. Even the ending of the aforementioned Infinity War, which certainly had shock value, wasn’t wiped away in the sequel ‘just because.’ Instead, “The Blip” will have lasting repercussions on the entire MCU going forward.
You can catch these repercussions firsthand in Spider-Man: Far From Home – which deals with the immediate fallout of The Blip and the death of Tony Stark – when it swings into theaters on July 2nd.