Ever since Samuel L. Jackson popped up at the end of the first Iron Man movie as Nick Fury and said the words “Avengers Initiative,” Marvel Studios has created an expectation for fans to stay in the theaters until after the credits roll.
What began as a simple stinger became an integral tool for world building and creating connective tissue between the movies. Fans could get a glimpse of the next adventure in the Marvel Studios lineup months before it hit theaters, and Marvel nerds would often catch references meant only for the diehard comic readers.
“As a film nerd, I never wanted it to end. I didn’t want the experience…no matter how good or bad the movie was, just the experience of being in the movie theater, I didn’t want to end,” Feige said. “So I would always sit through the credits. My Mom would do that, too. Would read all the names and think it’s so interesting what everybody does. So I would always sit through all the credits and you’re about two-thirds of the way through and it’s like oh should I go? Well maybe there’s, I mean, that one time there was something in that movie. Maybe there’ll be something on this movie. And there never was.”
Feige said that when Jackson agreed to do the first post-credit scene with Robert Downey Jr., it began a tradition. They didn’t even conceive it until the middle of the production. Every other idea has come organically, varying between ideas that pop up during pre-production to something that comes at a worldwide premiere.
“I think the tag on Iron Man 2 I hit upon while I was reading the drafts of Thor,” Feige said. “And we had that beat where Coulson drove to the Hammer, ‘Sir, I found it.’ And as I was reading the script, I do it all on the iPad now, but then it was paper. And I would go, and I circled that little thing and I said tag. Then you can do things like move that up in the shooting schedule so it became one of the first things we shot on Thor so we could cut it together and put it in Iron Man 2. The The Avengers example, of course, is the shawarma idea, which came up super, super, super late at the end of post-production.”
For the infamous shawarma stinger, they had to go straight from one of the early premiere screenings—the first time they could get all of the actors back together with director Joss Whedon—to go shoot the scene and add it in to the final cut.
The tags have become a favorite part of the many Marvel releases and have created a new wave of expectations among franchise movie goers. It’s a trend that doesn’t appear to be dying down any time soon, especially with Marvel movies being as successful as they are.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is in theaters now, make sure you stay after the credits or you’ll miss something.
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Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is written and directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell.