• Valentina "Val" Allegra de Fontaine is a "new leader" in the MCU, Marvel executive Nate Moore confirms
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Val has a "completely different energy" from Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury
  • Jackson is set to reprise his role as Fury in the upcoming series "Secret Invasion"

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has found a new leader in Valentina “Val” Allegra de Fontaine, a Marvel Studios executive has confirmed.

Val, portrayed by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, first debuted in the MCU when she appeared in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” which aired on Disney+ in March 2021. She also made an appearance in “Black Widow,” where she “set up” Yelena Belova’s (Florence Pugh) path for the “Hawkeye” series. This eventually raised theories among fans that Val could be Nick Fury’s (Samuel L. Jackson) replacement.

In the recently released “Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: The Art of the Series,” Nate Moore, vice-president of production and development at Marvel Studios, confirmed that she is indeed a “new leader” in the universe, Collider reported.

Fury is one of the most iconic characters in the MCU. Aside from being the director of S.H.I.E.L.D, his leadership and words of encouragement when the Avengers prepare for battle left a mark on Marvel fans.

Moore knew that replacing Jackson wasn’t easy, but he said they were “lucky” to have found Louis-Dreyfus because of her phenomenal portrayal of Val.

“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,” Moore said.

In her first two cameos, she showed that she was just as sarcastic and sly as Fury but still had a “fun energy” that was completely different.

“There was a fun energy to her that immediately you realize this person has a weight and a gravity, but they're not the same as Nick Fury. It's a completely different energy,” Moore said of Louis-Dreyfus' casting.

“There's a snark to the character that I think sets her apart from what's come before. And yet you still feel like she commands the room. So if you're talking about a new leader, to some degree, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we were very lucky to find Julia Louis-Dreyfus,” he continued.

But fans don’t need to worry because this doesn’t mean it’s the end of Fury’s days in the MCU. Jackson is set to reprise his role as the former S.H.I.E.L.D. boss in the upcoming series “Secret Invasion.”

Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed that “Secret Invasion” will focus on what happened “during The Blip, when half of the universe was decimated by Thanos and will explore the events that happened in that period,” Bleeding Cool reported.

Although no official release date has been announced, Jackson teased a small update for the series in an interview on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

"No. I'm not done. I am on my way back to London at some point in August. But I got to go back and do stuff for 'The Marvels' and then I got to do stuff for 'Secret Invasion,'” he told host Jimmy Kimmel.

But it may take a while before the release. It’s possible that Jackson’s return to London would be for “reshoots,” and there are speculations that the plots of “Secret Invasion” and “The Marvels” could be “interlinked,” according to Movie Web.

“The Marvels” is set to be released in theaters on July 28, 2023.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Julia Louis-Dreyfus of "Veep" fame is pictured. AFP / Angela Weiss