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What? Nick Fury Changes Already?

Jan. 14 2009, Published 3:20 p.m. ET

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First, belt-tightening is reportedly the reason Don Cheadle replaced Terrence Howard as Jim Rhodes in Iron Man 2. Now, the same excuse may sideline another character in that film.

No sooner do Marvel Comics fans get a glimpse of the new Nick Fury, leader of the C.I.A.-like group S.H.I.E.L.D. -- at the end of Iron Man in the person of Samuel L. Jackson -- than the actor tells The Los Angeles Times that he may not be back because "there seems to be an economic crisis in the Marvel Comics world."

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Guess the bigtime flop of the last Punisher film rattled them more than we knew. It certainly proved that Marvel isn't invincible, as the string of hits -- Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Hulk, and Iron Man -- seemed to suggest.

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