Marvel still reportedly won't pay Mickey Rourke enough to put on a big metal suit and fight Iron Man, but the studio has signed Samuel L. Jackson to continue his role as Nick Fury for up to nine more films, locking the actor down for single, after-the-credits scenes for years to come. From Variety (thanks again, Joshua):
Jackson's deal is a long-term commitment to play Fury, the leader of the espionage unit the Shield. His deal contains an option to play the character in nine future Marvel superhero films, efforts that are expected to include "Captain America," "Thor," "The Avengers" and "The Shield" as well as potential sequels.
Jackson introduced Fury in the closing moments of "Iron Man," when the character asked Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark to join his group. Fury is a natural to show up in multiple Marvel franchises, as he crosses paths with many Marvel superheroes in the comicbooks.
Jackson's Marvel future looked murky, after he reportedly expressed his displeasure with the producer-financier's initial offer to reprise his role. Jackson was hardly alone: Even though "Iron Man" grossed more than $600 million worldwide, Marvel brass has been sparing in offers to talent like Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell to play villains in the sequel, sources said.
With how cheap Marvel seems to be acting with everything, expect that, in the unlikely event of Jackson's illness or death, they'll make sure they get their contract's worth by using footage from Shaft and a lot of Deal or No Deal-style silhouetted phone calls.