Fan-favorite filmmaker and comic book guru Kevin Smith loved Avengers: Infinity War, but an alternate post-credits scene suggested by friend and Comic Book Men star Walter Flanagan had Smith longing for a scene introducing the Fantastic Four.
"I said, 'What did you think of the ending?' He goes, 'I really liked it, but for one moment, I thought when they were going in on the beeper, that it was gonna be the number four,'" Smith recalled during a live appearance in Prince George, British Columbia, alongside Fatman on Batman co-host Marc Bernardin.
"And right there I started crying because I was like, 'We missed a better movie!' Could you imagine if they were just like 'four,' and we're like, 'Oh f—k, they're f—king in the universe! Here comes the Baxter Building, bitch,'" Smith said of Marvel's first family.
The Infinity War after-credits tag sees cameo appearances from Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who sends a distress signal by way of old-fashioned beeper before completely disappearing — a result of the Infinity Stone-powered snap inflicted onto the entire universe by a triumphant Thanos (Josh Brolin).
The camera pushes in on Fury's beeper, revealing the insignia of cosmic cop Captain Marvel (a yet-to-debut Brie Larson), who headlines her solo movie in March before assembling alongside Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Avengers 4.
"But what they gave us was amazing and I loved the Captain Marvel f—king teaser at the end," Smith said. "I thought it was one of their best teasers."
The superhero aficionado previously hailed the Marvel Studios blockbuster as "epic beyond compare" and "a gigantic Marvel masterpiece."
Screen rights for the Fantastic Four are currently with studio 20th Century Fox, who Disney took the first steps to acquire in a $52.4 billion dollar purchase in December.
The acquisition of Fox's film and television assets would see Disney-owned Marvel Studios reclaim the Fantastic Four — alongside other Fox-controlled properties, namely the X-Men and Deadpool franchises — as all characters would be integrated into the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe, home to other Stan Lee co-creations Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Panther, and the Avengers.
A Quiet Place director-slash-star John Krasinski has expressed interest involvement in a potential Fantastic Four reboot, but Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige admitted to ComicBook.com he's "not thinking about" outside properties as the deal is not yet complete and because the hit-making studio is "kind of busy on the next five movies."
Smith experienced a "massive" and near-fatal heart attack in February and has since lost more than 30 pounds. The writer-director hopes to next film Jay and Silent Bob Get a Reboot.