Captain Marvel marks the 21st entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, allowing it to reference various different elements from the films that came before it. Many fans will likely pick up on most of these narrative connections, though it's the film's final scene that delivers a moment that recreates the final moment in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
WARNING: Spoilers below for Captain Marvel
The events of Captain Marvel take place in 1995, depicting the early days of familiar Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury and Phil Coulson. The narrative helps establish that the pair will spend a majority of their careers seeking super-powered individuals in hopes of finding heroes to help protect the planet. The final scene sees Fury beginning to type up plans for the Avengers Initiative, which the Agent approaches Tony Stark about in the post-credits sequence in Iron Man.
While MCU fans know exactly what Fury is planning to do in that final scene, he actually types "The Protector Initiative," only to notice that Carol Danvers' nickname was "Avenger," which he adopts to retitle the program. However, we only ever see him type something, with the audience never explicitly seeing "Avengers Initiative" on the screen.
The final scene of Avengers: Age of Ultron depicts Captain America addressing new recruits to the Avengers at their new headquarters. The final line of dialogue nearly features Steve Rogers shouting the iconic directive, "Avengers: Assemble," only for the film to cut to black before delivering the full phrase.
In this regard, both films wink at the audience in their final moments, teasing viewers with a reference to something iconic only to deny us the blatant nod.
One big difference between these two sequences in the films, however, was the ways those sequences were shot.
"We did shoot him actually writing the Avengers Initiative on the screen, and it just felt like we didn't need to see it," Captain Marvel co-director Ryan Fleck shared with Empire.
Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon, on the other hand, refused to film the full sequence.
"I made sure that we never shot Chris Evans saying it, because I was positive that some executive was gonna go, 'You forgot to put in the last word!'" Whedon shared with Empire in 2015. "I was like, 'With my dying breath...' I don't have to say that a lot, but on occasion I'll turn to [Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige] and say, 'With my dying breath...'"
Captain Marvel is in theaters now.
Did you notice any other subtle MCU nods in Captain Marvel? Let us know in the comments below!
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