Captain Marvel gave fans the first glimpse of an early-days Nick Fury, and now, one costume designer for the film reveals how the Skrulls were used to create character development for the legendary spy.
Jackson Sze, who works for Marvel Studios as a senior visual development artist, shared a few paintings of Skrull leader Talos on Instagram. The paintings, done off a final design by concept artist Ian Joyner, contain a fun (though non-canon) insight into the final design.
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I did this painting of Talos (final design by @ianjoynerart ) to set the mood and explore his personality. The 2nd image is one of my takes on the character. - - - Talos was described to us as a Skrull spy. I thought since young Nick Fury would interact with Talos, he would come to see Talos as the ultimate spy and model his own look after him. Basically Talos would be the inspiration for Fury’s iconic trench coat look. A little bit of design reverse engineering. It is not MCU canon but my own reason for Talos having a trench coat. - - - Many talented artists who worked on this film are sharing art. Check them out! @andyparkart @ianjoynerart @anthony_francisco_art @rodneyimages @johnstaubart @jsmarantz @constantinesekeris @aleksibriclot @pboutte - - - #captainmarvel #talos #skrull #spy #characterdesign #costumedesign #conceptart #conceptdesign #film #mcu #marvel #marvelstudios #filmart #painting #digitalart #digitalpainting #digitalillustration #mood #alien #trenchcoat
“Talos was described to us as a Skrull spy," Sze wrote. "I thought since young Nick Fury would interact with Talos, he would come to see Talos as the ultimate spy and model his own look after him. Basically Talos would be the inspiration for Fury’s iconic trench coat look. A little bit of design reverse engineering. It is not MCU canon but my own reason for Talos having a trench coat.”
Since his debut in 2008’s Iron Man, S.H.I.E.L.D. super-spy Nick Fury has been traditionally depicted in a long, black trenchcoat, in line with the character's typical appearance in the comics. Fury has been known to change up his look, including short coats, or even his hoodie seen at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, but in almost every appearance, he’s wearing a trenchcoat of some fashion.
For Captain Marvel, though, Fury is a much less seasoned spy, and he’s depicted wearing a fairly nondescript black suit and tie for much of the film. The younger Fury shows many of the traits he would begin to demonstrate in later films but is clearly still discovering who he is as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent throughout the movie.
While it's merely headcanon, Sze’s post does lend itself to some interesting insight into the mind of a designer for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Something as seemingly inconsequential as a coat for a film’s pseudo-villain can be used to not only tell a story but craft a backstory for a character that no one had previously considered. While a character like Nick Fury is considered by fans to be the prototypical, cool-as-a-cucumber spy, small ideas like this, which build off unspoken backstories, are the foundation of what has made the MCU work as a whole.
Whether this story element will eventually be made canon is up in the air. Fury’s last film appearance saw him turned to dust, but he does appear in the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer wearing a variation of the classic trenchcoat. However, with Captain Marvel’s finale being set in 1995, there’s still plenty of time to see the younger Fury develop into the man who would one day be able to break into Tony Stark’s living room to start the Avengers Initiative.
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, Captain Marvel stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Jude Law as Yon-Rogg, Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser, Djimon Hounsou as Korath the Pursuer, Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva, Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau, Algenis Perez Soto as Att-Lass, McKenna Grace as a young Carol Danvers and Annette Bening as the Supreme Intelligence. The movie is in theaters now.