When is a spoiler not a spoiler? How about when it's dropped in the middle of a TV spot released over a month before the movie hits theaters?
The latest TV spot for April's Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a great case in point. It opens with footage we've already seen of the Winter Soldier attacking a car containing Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and then gives us the following line, delivered by Chris Evans' Captain America, in voiceover: "Fury's last words were not to trust anyone."
Wait wait wait. Fury's last words?
The line has caught a lot of attention on social media, with many wondering if the trailer is suggesting that the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. meets his maker in the upcoming movie. It's worth noting here that the Super Bowl trailer for the movie featured someone (Nick Fury himself, interestingly enough) telling Cap that he was in charge now, while co-director Joe Russo has pointed to the costume Cap wears for much of the movie as a potentially important element -- with said costume being the one the character wore in the comics while running S.H.I.E.L.D.
Of course, all of this seems a little too… obvious. Jackson himself has talked about being "about to do" Avengers: Age of Ultron, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he won't be appearing in post-mortem flashback in the movie. Also, as Marvel's Agents of SHIELD has made clear, death doesn't exactly stick in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The question may not be "Is Nick Fury going to die in The Winter Soldier?" but "Would Marvel (and Sam Jackson) allow him to stay dead, even if he did?"
Watch the new spot below.