Warning: Spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home to follow. Big ones.
So it turns out that Cobie Smulders had no more clue about the post-credits sequence in Spider-Man: Far From Home than the audience did. Talking to THR, Smulders explained that the driving sequence where she, you know, and we find out the thing, was actually from an earlier scene that got cut.
“Literally a week before the movie came out, I found out from Kevin [Feige] that they shot the extra scene [with Maria and Nick],” she said. “It was added [during post production]. That driving footage is from the first scene that got cut out of the movie.”
Scroll past the chipmunk for spoiler land.
So basically, it turns out Maria Hill in Far From Home isn’t herself but is actually a Skrull – specifically Soren, wife of Talos, who has been impersonating Nick Fury. Fury himself, it is revealed at the end, is on virtual vacation on a Skrull ship somewhere in the galaxy and Talos and Soren are filling him in on what’s gone down.
Marvel is the master of keeping secrets, so it’s not a massive surprise that Kevin Feige opted to keep Smulders in the dark. But it does raise a couple of questions, like “How did that work, then?”
The reveal was a smart move that nicely helped explain some of the decisions Hill and Fury made during the body of the movie. Not calling in the help of any other Avengers when it looked like the Elementals were going to destroy the planet being on – after all, at this point, they believed Mysterio when he told them his whole planet had been destroyed. And of course, believing Mysterio in the first place was a bit of an error we doubt Fury and Hill would have made. Once we know it’s Talos and Soren, it makes perfect sense.
Samuel L Jackson must have known, at least at some point, what the twist would be – after all, he’d have had to have shot the end credits scene on the Skrull ship – and did we dream it, or were there little bits and pieces that hinted at him having a slightly different personality? There’s also the bit where he’s pointing at Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) in a slightly off-target way – could this be because Talos isn’t used to the eye patch?
If Jackson knew and was acting as Talos pretending to be Fury, but Smulders didn’t and was acting just as Hill that must have made for a very strange on-set dynamic, and didn’t afford Smulders the chance to play with that slightly meta concept (though that might have been the plan). How could he resist telling her? And did Smulders never say, “We’re definitely okay with Fury and Hill not calling for backup even when the entire planet is at stake, yeah?”
Of course, the twist also raises the question of how long Hill has been a Skrull. Some have theorised that this could have been since Avengers Assemble, though Smulders addressed this saying: “They could change it to be that way, but in my mind – no. I don’t know where she is, but my hope is that she’s on vacation somewhere. In this world, she’s probably just on some other mission.”
Presumably, if Jackson was told of his Skrull status for this film (and presumably not for any other), Marvel won’t retrospectively make either character Skrulls in the past. Instead, this could just be them having a much-needed break after the events of Avengers: Endgame.