The Marvel Cinematic Universe has evolved into one of the biggest on-screen narratives in modern cinema. This will be culminating in a literal battle for the fate of the universe in Avengers: Infinity War but everything that led to this began 10 years ago with Jon Favreau's Iron Man. The director has now shed some more insight into the infamous post-credits scene that kickstarted Marvel Studios' big vision for its cinematic universe.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Favreau reflected on the post-credits sequence that introduced Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the Avengers initiative, saying, "That was a bit of a lark. I wanted to include Easter eggs that the fans would appreciate and we thought the idea of a post-credit scene it could be fun."
At the end of Iron Man, after revealing his identity as the armored superhero to the world, an exhausted Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) returned to his mansion, only to be greeted by Jackson's Fury who emerged from the shadows with word of a superhero team: the Avengers -- clearly influenced by The Ultimates comics by writer Mark Millar and artist Bryan Hitch.
"It was something that wasn’t really in the script originally. But I thought the idea of Nick Fury being Sam Jackson would be really fun, because when Nick Fury was reimagined in The Ultimates they recast him as Sam Jackson, and I thought that that would be a really good nod to the audience. And Kevin [Feige, Marvel Studios executive] was way into it, too. Kevin really lit up. We worked on that dialogue together. We were very careful how we selected the words."
This scene expanded things and went on to inspire movies involving heroes like Captain America, Thor, the Guardians of the Galaxy and Black Panther, just to name a few, so as to really bring the comics to life, and of course, leave fans waiting until the very end to see extra sequences that directors seeded just for fun, as well as to connect to other aspects of the MCU.
"‘You’re part of a bigger world now, a bigger universe,’ and ‘the Avengers Initiative,’ laid breadcrumbs for what was to come," added Favreau, who ended his MCU directorial stint with Iron Man 2. "We had the idea that we would somehow group these characters together, that was part of what would happen, but a lot of things had to go right for that to happen, so we were really just laying out a basic mission statement of purpose, to show our intent, and thinking that the few people who would linger in the theater would be the ones who would appreciate it most.”
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Tom Hiddleston, and Josh Brolin. The film hits theaters on April 27.