While Marvel's Phase Three doesn't begin in earnest until early May, when Captain America: Civil War hits theaters, the studio is already in various stages of production on forthcoming Phase Three adventures. Doctor Strange, set for release on November 4, is still in production, with shooting set to start in Atlanta very soon on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, arriving on May 5, 2017. The next project out of the gate for Marvel is Thor: Ragnarok, arriving on November 3, 2017, with pre-production currently under way in Australia before shooting starts this summer. Today we have a new report from Australia's Gold Coast Bulletin, which claims that Samuel L. Jackson will return to star as Nick Fury.
As of now, the only confirmed cast members for Thor: Ragnarok are Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as his villainous brother Loki and Mark Ruffalo as Hulk. There have also been rumors that Cate Blanchett will star as the new villain Hela, which have not been confirmed, but one of the most interesting details to surface so far came from Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who revealed in December that most of the movie "takes place within the cosmos," and that "very little" of the story takes place on Earth. With that being said, how will the Earth-bound Nick Fury come into play?
We last saw Fury in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Samuel L. Jackson himself confirmed last summer that he won't be seen in Captain America: Civil War. Ironically, the other two main stars of the MCU who won't be seen in Captain America: Civil War are Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo, who are said to be going on a universal road trip in Thor: Ragnarok. Unfortunately, we don't know how Samuel L. Jackson will fit into the story quite yet, but this movie will mark the second in a row that he has shot in Australia.
Warner Bros.' Kong: Skull Island recently vacated the sound stages at Village Roadshow Studios in Australia, where Thor: Ragnarok will take over as pre-production starts this week, ahead of principal photography starting this June. Ironically, both Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson star in Kong: Skull Island, both of whom will reportedly return to the same sound stage to shoot Thor: Ragnarok. It's also worth noting that Samuel L. Jackson only has two more movies left on his nine-picture contract with Marvel Studios, so if he does in fact sign on for Thor: Ragnarok, the final movie of his contract may either be Avengers: Infinity War Part I or Avengers: Infinity War - Part II.
It isn't known how large of a role Samuel L. Jackson may have in Thor: Ragnarok, but if "very little" is set on Earth, it may not be a substantial role. It's possible that he somehow ends up in the "cosmos" with Thor and Hulk, but that doesn't seem likely. Hopefully we'll get an official story rundown in the near future as we get closer and closer to this sequel starting production. What do you think about Samuel L. Jackson surfacing in Thor: Ragnarok?