Here’s why Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) took so long to assemble MCU‘s the Avengers after the events of Captain Marvel. When Marvel Studios first debuted in 2008, they already made it clear that they’re planning to build an interconnected film series formatted like the comics with an Iron Man cameo from the then-SHIELD director. Since then, Fury has become an integral player in bringing together the franchise’s original Earth Mightiest Heroes as seen in The Avengers. That said, it’s curious why he waited so long to do this when apparently, he had the Avengers Initiative program drafted as early as 1995.
It wasn’t until Tony’s announcement that he was Iron Man that Fury seemingly decided to actively work on making the Avengers Initiative come to fruition. Off-screen, the explanation is obvious — the story of Captain Marvel wasn’t decided until Phase 3 of the MCU. Making the film period piece allowed Marvel Studios to fill narrative holes in its history, but it also resulted in new questions regarding the franchise’s continuity which included the aforementioned query. While there’s no explicit reason provided regarding the matter, the events in the past could provide an in-universe answer to why Fury sat on the Avengers Initiative for years.
In The Avengers, it was revealed that Fury was experimenting on the Tesseract, wanting to develop weapons with its power. As he explained to Iron Man and Captain America (Chris Evans) on the heels of Phil Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) supposed death, it was his way of protecting Earth in case another off-world attack came. He also mentioned the idea of the Avengers Initiative but admitted that it’s a riskier ploy considering that it involved convincing a group of remarkable people to work together to fight the battles that they never could.
In a deleted scene from the same film, Fury is shown talking to the World Security Council — an international organization that oversaw SHIELD’s actions, where he explained what’s happening with the ongoing Loki (Tom Hiddleston) debacle. Fury was questioned about the involvement of the Avengers by a female member, when her colleague interjected, mentioning that “the Avengers Initiative was shut down.” While they didn’t get into the specifics of why they pulled the plug on it, it was clear that not everyone was sold on the idea — it was described as a “volatile concept at the best of times.” This offers an idea of how it must’ve been difficult for Fury to get the project off the ground. Granted that he hatched the idea in 1995, chances are that it was dismissed by his officers, but as a master strategist and a stern believer of the cause, Fury continued to work on it slowly until he reached a certain point in SHIELD where he could fully pursue the idea.
Given the events that succeeded the Battle of New York, thankfully Fury was committed to the Avengers Initiative despite the hurdles he had to go through to make it a reality. While it’s uncertain what the future holds for the MCU following the Infinity Saga, Fury remains involved in making sure that Earth continues to be safe or at the very least ready in case another alien attack comes along. This is the reason why he’s refocused his efforts in establishing SWORD — a new organization that monitors alien threats.