Nick Fury's 'Thor' & 'Captain America' Cameos Confirmed, Four Actresses Vying For New 'Avengers' Role

Today was a big day for news on the Marvel movies front, with the first shot of Bucky in "Captain America" hitting the 'net a little while ago, and now a double dose of news regarding "Thor" and "The Avengers."

Last night on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," Samuel L. Jackson confirmed that his character, Nick Fury, will make a cameo in both "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger."

Despite Jackson's nine-picture contract, Nick Fury's presence in both films was uncertain until now, with a recent, widely circulated report casting doubt on a "Thor" cameo, and the World War II time period of "Captain America" making an encounter with the modern-era Fury unlikely.

"In the next month or so, I have to do one day on 'Thor' and another day on 'Captain America', and in April we start 'The Avengers,'" Jackson told Fallon. "'Thor' and 'Captain America' are pretty much done, but I haven't done my part in them yet — I'm just connective tissue for them to join 'The Avengers.'"

While Jackson indicated that he has "no idea" what his scenes will involve, he did share one juicy detail: that he's screen-testing with several actresses this week vying for a new female role in "The Avengers."

"They have this new character that's my sidekick or something that's with me all the time," he revealed.

And that's where the second half of our Marvel news double feature comes in, with an unofficial list of four actresses testing for the mysterious new character.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Morena Baccarin ("V"), Jessica Lucas ("Melrose Place"), Cobie Smulders ("How I Met Your Mother"), and Mary Elizabeth Winstead ("Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World") are on the short list for the role. Baccarin could have an edge due to her prior work with "Avengers" director Joss Whedon on the "Firefly" television series and subsequent "Serenity" movie.

Little else is known about the new female character who will join Nick Fury on the S.H.I.E.L.D. team, though Baccarin's name was thrown around back in October 2010 with regard to a potential turn as Janet van Dyne, a.k.a. The Wasp.

What do you think about Nick Fury making a cameo in "Thor" and "Captain America"? And which character do you think the actresses are auditioning for? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter! You can also follow me, Splash Page editor Rick Marshall, on Twitter!