We may well be completely Marveled-out by the time The Avengers has finally been and gone. But that's a nine-picture deal that Samuel L Jackson has signed with the House of M to play Nick Fury, the head honcho of Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (in the films - it stands for something else in the comics). Talking to Radio Big Boy, Jackson has confirmed that "The Avengers starts shooting sometime next year, and after that there'll be a big SHIELD movie."
SHIELD is the - sometimes sinister - espionage agency, running out of an enormous helicarrier, which employs super and non-super agents, and has a nifty line in android replacement technology. It's anyone's guess which plot from the comic's 45 year history might be ripe for adaptation (post your ideas below). 2004's Secret War arc would be a strong contender, but does result in Fury going mysteriously AWOL, which would rather negate the "starring Samuel Jackson" plan.
It's also unclear which of the organisation's 3000 agents might take centre-stage alongside Fury, although Jackson hints that "War Machine will turn up a lot" in future Marvel instalments. We guess we might also expect to see Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow and Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson returning for duty.
All speculation at this point, but one thing's certain: the days of David Hasselhoff in the eyepatch are long gone.