EXCLUSIVE: Former ‘Nick Fury’ David Hasselhoff Talks Samuel L. Jackson & Marvel’s New Super-Spy

That sound you hear? That’s Marvel fandom, still applauding the recent news that Samuel L. Jackson will be appearing as Nick Fury in an unprecedented nine-movie deal with Marvel Films. But as we all know, Jackson came dangerously close to walking away from the “Iron Man” role that he’s slowly becoming synonymous with in geek circles.

And while it would be damn-near impossible to replace him, at least we know the actor who played the role of Fury prior to Jackson stood ready and waiting in the wings.

“I know Nick Fury inside and out now, but I’ve already got my validation,” David Hasselhoff told MTV News. The former “Knight Rider” actor, who played the super-spy in 1998’s “Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD” had quite a bit to say about both his time as the cigar-chomping SHIELD chief, as well as his successor.

“The greatest compliment I ever received was when Stan Lee was on the set and said, ’You are Nick Fury. You are exactly what I imagined him to be,'” said Hasselhoff.

Clearly, “The ’Hoff” is a fan of the character, and even though the actor admitted that he’d hoped to take his version of Fury into franchise territory, he’s well-aware that S.H.I.E.L.D.’s lead agent is in good hands with Jackson.

“I tried to parlay that into doing it as a feature character because it was so successful as a movie of the week, and then I saw that Samuel Jackson was doing it, and I went, ’Great,'” laughed Hasselhoff. “I love Samuel Jackson. He’s a friend, and he was actually a neighbor of mine. He’s a terrific choice for Nick Fury and he’ll be so frickin’ cool because he’s got an attitude. The Nick Fury I played was written by David Goyer, who did some of the ’Batman’ movies, and it was more tongue-in-cheek and fun than dark.

“I actually can’t wait to see Nick Fury,” said Hasselhoff.

Who would you rather see in the role of Nick Fury — Samuel L. Jackson or David Hasselhoff? State your case in the comments below.