Warning: Major Spider-Man: Far From Home theories are ahead.
One of the most surprising things about Spider-Man: Far From Home didn’t even have to do with Spider-Man (or Peter Parker for that matter). If you hung around until the very end of the movie you learned a big secret about Nick Fury: He’s really a Skrull. As we then learn, Talos — who was first introduced in this year’s Captain Marvel — has been masquerading as Fury while Fury is off doing something, somewhere in space with the Skrulls.
Shocking? That’s putting it lightly. Far From Home ends Phase 3 of the the Marvel Cinematic Universe and we have no idea what’s happening next in Phase 4. Clearly, this Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) / Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) situation is going to come into play in a major way as we learn what Fury is doing in space, along with what Talos is doing here on Earth. But in saying all of this, there’s a much bigger, more immediate, question, we have to address right now: How long as Talos been on Earth as Fury?
There are a thousand different answers to this right now, and only one right answer. However, we don’t know what the right answer is right now, which means we’re free to speculate all day long as to when this switch happened. Marvel also might have been laying the foundation for this to be a huge twist for a few movies now, but until we know for certain, there’s no way of knowing just how far back this Fury/Talos switch-a-roo occurred.
But because we're not quitters, here are some top theories:
Theory 1: The Swap Happened Before Avengers: Age of Ultron
This theory has actually been floating around since Captain Marvel, and now it’s got more evidence thanks to Far From Home. In Captain Marvel, Fury makes a comment that he can’t eat sandwiches if they’re cut diagonally. Okay, weird thing to tell Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), but sure. However, we’ve seen Fury make and eat a sandwich before in Avengers: Age of Ultron. There, he cuts it right down the middle, even though in 1995 he told Carol he refuses to eat sandwiches like this.
It’s so random and obscure, and sure the sandwich cut could just be a continuity error, but on the other hand, it could be a big clue pointing to the fact that Talos has been pretending to be Fury for a long time now. Why else would we spend so much time talking about sandwiches in the MCU?
Theory 2: Fury Has Been A Skrull Since The End Of Endgame
Considering the fact that Tony Stark and Fury go way back — all the way back to the beginning of the MCU with Iron Man — even if Fury were off-world at the time of Tony’s death he’d still show up for the funeral. We have reason to believe the switch happened after Endgame.
Far From Home director Jon Watts even confirmed it, telling ComicBook.com, “That's real Nick Fury at Tony's funeral at the end of [Avengers: Endgame].” Okay, sure. But Watts also told us multiple times that we could trust Mysterio in Far From Home, and look how that turned out. At this stage of the MCU, we’re going to get lied to on occasion to save major twists.
Also, very little time has passed since the end of Endgame and the beginning of Far From Home (it takes place roughly eight months later). Would Fury really have had enough time to leave Earth, get to space, and boot up his virtual beach? Maybe, maybe not.
Theory 3: Fury Has Been A Skrull Since The Start Of Endgame
What if it was actually Talos who got dusted during the snap? There’s zero evidence to support this so far, but hey, stranger things have happened in the MCU. Maybe this switch was such a secret, even Captain Marvel didn’t realize it. It also might explain how Fury has said time and time again he’s always called “Fury,” but as she’s dusting/blipping, Maria Hill calls him “Nick.”
Theory 4: The Fury & Talos Switch Happens During Spider-Man: Far From Home
It’s entirely possible that we start out Far From Home with the real Fury, and their switch takes place sometime during the movie. Fury could have prepped Talos on everything, thinking he was good to check out for a bit, and not even imagining how quickly things would go south.
Theory 5: The Easiest Answer
There's a possibility that Fury and Talos have pulled this trick numerous times throughout MCU history (that's one way to carve out some vacation time), which could explain the incorrect sandwich cut, the real Fury attending Tony's funeral, and Fury not remembering meeting Peter Parker when he finds him in Europe (though Fury wouldn't be the first MCU member to forget their first Spidey encounter).