It appears that Iron Man 2 is free from one of its many casting dramas. Samuel L. Jackson has signed a nine picture deal with Marvel studios. Not only will this ensure that he will reprise his role as Nick Fury in the upcoming sequel, but will likely do so in the spin-off Avengers films and a rumored solo film with teammates from S.H.I.E.L.D. (of which, NINE films seems an unlikely sum, anyway.)
This is one bit of news that hardly comes at a surprise. Yet, it's a huge relief. We all knew that Jackson was simply posturing for a better offer. When the initial news came of his possible exit from the film, Jackson made it seem that economic circumstances had hit Marvel so hard, that they were incapable of making him a feasible offer. Given the many casting mix-ups and switching of the character James Rhodes (War Machine) from Terrence Howard to Don Cheadle; Emily Blunt leaving the character of Black Widow vacant; to Mickey Rourke's exit (so he claims) from his yet-to-be-named role -- Sam Jackson's exit as Nick Fury would have been a bit much to swallow. With this news, we can at least rest assure that something has been salvaged.
NINE Marvel films? And since he was technically in the first Iron Man, that means Jackson could potentially be in TEN when all is said and done. I mean, there were only SIX Rocky movies and those were over the span of 30 years. The man is 60 years old. Will he really take it that far? More importantly, would we even want him to do so?
My guess is that Marvel is simply covering its bases. (Very, very well, I might add.) It is a possible reaction to all the casting swaps that have been plaguing this film (and may potentially plague the Incredible Hulk sequel.) Casting swaps tend to have the effect of making the transition between films to be less believable which takes away from the integrity of the film. Remember when they switched April O'Neil's from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1 to 2? (Judith Hoag to Paige Turco.) What was that all about? Had the second film not included gratuitous commercialism from Vanilla Ice's "Ninja Rap" concert scene, we might have thought that the casting swap ruined the film (instead of the ridiculous plot and silly scenes...I mean, "Super Shredder" was all ready to kick ass and he basically decides to commit suicide.)
...Word to your mother.