The roster for next year's Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel Spider-Man: Far from Home has just become a little larger, as both Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders are now confirmed to appear in the movie as Nick Fury and Maria Hill respectively. Samuel L. Jackson has been rumored to have some involvement with the movie for a month or two now, with him recently being seen near the set, so this confirmation puts a lot of the mystery to rest.
Nick Fury and Maria Hill previously appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe earlier this year in Avengers: Infinity War, but only in a post-credits tease that left the fate of both of their characters rather up in the air. However, considering the fact that Spider-Man will be returning next year, it's not too shocking to know that Fury and Hill will be returning as well. It's just a bit shocking that they will be returning in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
In the comics, Spider-Man has had some involvement with S.H.I.E.L.D. In fact, the animated series The Ultimate Spider-Man directly followed Spider-Man's involvement with S.H.I.E.L.D., with Nick Fury appearing in nearly every episode. Perhaps the arc in Spider-Man: Far From Home will closley follow this, with Spider-Man looking to S.H.I.E.L.D. for mentorship rather than Tony Stark.
Samuel L. Jackson will appear in another movie next year as well, being confirmed to have a rather heavy role in Captain Marvel. However, this will be a rather different depiction of Nick Fury than we are used to, as the movie will take place during the '90s and will show what Fury was like before he received his eyepatch. There's also the possibility that he will appear in Avengers 4, more than likely towards the ending of the movie, but there's no confirmation about that yet considering the amount of secrecy that is surrounding the movie.
In addition to Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders, Spider-Man: Far From Home will feature quite a few other returning cast members, including Tom Holland as Spider-Man, Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, Zendaya as Michelle, and Jacob Batalon as Ned. Additionally, the movie is all but confirmed to feature Jake Gyllenhaal as the primary villain Mysterio. Even without Robert Downey Jr., this movie is looking as though it will have quite the star-studded cast.
Though we don't know exactly how large of a role Nick Fury and Maria Hill will have in the movie, considering the report from Vulture only says they will be in it, it's great to know that these (former) agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be sticking around the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Phase 4. Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury has been in the franchise since the first movie in 2008, and it's good to know that he isn't going anywhere soon. You can see Nick Fury and Maria Hill presumably working alongside Spider-Man when Spider-Man: Far From Home hits theaters on July 5th, 2019.