The MCU may have a new Nick Fury in the form of Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, according to the Marvel Studios VP and producer of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Her first appearance at the end of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series on Disney Plus hinted that she would have a significant impact on the MCU. This was further confirmed when she showed up at the end of Black Widow’s post-credit scene, recruiting Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). With the announcement of the Thunderbolts movie in 2022’s D23 Expo, it was revealed she will be part of the team.
But is she replacing Nick Fury in the MCU? Read on for more.
In an interview with Screen Rant, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever producer and Marvel Studios VP of Production and Development Nate Moore spoke about how important the cameo of Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine is to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
For one, while Valentina expressed her interest in Wakanda’s Vibranium in her brief Wakanda Forever cameo, Moore mentions that the connection between her and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) was actually director Ryan Coogler’s idea:
Certainly, this is not the last time you will see Valentina. I think now, clearly, she and Ross might find themselves at different tables at the same restaurant. The detail about their past relationship was something Ryan thought would be really fun and interesting to explore. Hopefully, we'll get to build on that.
Moore goes further to suggest that the Contessa will be as big in the MCU as Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury in linking the major players and events together:
But with Valentina, much like Nick Fury in Phase One, we're slowly building the story of a woman who maybe has her finger in more pies than you think. And we'll just see if that's a good thing or a bad thing for the MCU.
This is not the first time Marvel Studios VP Nate Moore has mentioned Val as the new Nick Fury.
Marvel is looking at Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Valentina as the Nick Fury replacement. Says Nate Moore:
— Screen Rant (@screenrant) July 4, 2022
Earlier in July, Moore had this to say about her status in the MCU:
The Countess Valentina Allegra de Fontaine is a character that has a rich publication history… and to some degree, figuring out who can fill those shoes, which in our mind is in a way taking the reins from Nick Fury, was tough.
After appearing in the post-credit the first Iron Man in 2008, Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury has been the binding element of the early years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., it made sense that Fury would be aware of and have a hand in the lives of the superheroes that populate their world. He has appeared in both movies and on TV (via Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and will soon front his own series in the upcoming Secret Invasion on Disney+.
But what will come after that? As the MCU enters Phase Five in 2023, could Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine be setting up to replace Nick Fury? Or will he be more like the DC Universe’s Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis) whose role is more ambiguous, sometimes working with and other times against the superheroes as long as it fits her own agenda?
Interestingly enough, Nick Fury was replaced as the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. --- by a Marvel Snap player. The hilarious ad even has Samuel L. Jackson in the role.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently running in theaters. Secret Invasion arrives on Disney+ at a unspecified date in 2023.