Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was born, President Kevin Feige was just like every filmmaker who aspired to see their name in the credits in the movies one day. There was one movie that gave him the inspiration to eventually, one day, include post-credit scenes for his next 18 Marvel films, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Feige still remembers to this day what he was thinking from that day when the film came out in theaters.
“I was a big film nerd. I thought, ‘Oh my God, how can I be one of these people whose names are on a movie and get to work on movies? This is so cool!’. It was the greatest thing in the world. I thought it was hilarious. It was like a little reward for me for sitting through the credits.”
For those of you who are not familiar with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Matthew Broderick’s Bueller had appeared and was concerned that the audience was still there watching the credits and had insisted that they go home. It is incredible that Feige took inspiration from one of the best classics of all time, but it wasn’t easy incorporating the strategy into the MCU. It was a challenge at first beginning with Iron Man.
“It occurred to us [while making Iron Man], ‘Well, we don’t have X-Men, we don’t have Fantastic Four, [and] we don’t have Spider-Man, but we have everything else.’ Even though everything else hadn’t been turned into a big film before, or had the name recognition among non-comic-book readers that other ones did, we had the opportunity to start putting certain heroes in other heroes’ movies, which hadn’t been done before. It’s a bonus of what’s to come.”
Nick Fury was one name that non-comic book fans were not familiar with and Feige didn’t want to stress including Fury during the film of Iron Man because the film, was after all, about Tony Stark as Iron Man. It is also amazing that likes of an actor like Samuel L. Jackson would be saying that he would be willing to do a cameo in a Marvel film is astounding.
“We wanted Nick Fury to be the character to intertwine characters, but we didn’t want to interrupt the movie. You know, if Sam Jackson in an eyepatch showed up in the middle, it might be jarring. I presumed the only people who would stay through the credits were people who would know who the guy in the eyepatch was. [Laughs]
You would think that Feige and Marvel Studios had these post-credit scenes prepared and ready to go. It didn’t work like that.
“It varies from tag to tag, and it always just comes down to, what do we think would be a fun extra at the end of the movie? What do we think would be a fun thing slightly outside the narrative, but tied to the grander overall narrative, that would be the fun reward for people sitting through all of our names? Sometimes, as it did with Nick Fury, it came up during production and we were able to shoot it then. The Iron Man 2 tag, which is [Phil] Coulson going into the desert and finding the hammer, came about when I was reading drafts for Thor and read that little section where he pulls up and says, ‘Sir, we found it.’ and I said, ‘Oh, that’s the tag! Let’s move it up in [the] production of Thor early so we can put it in the tag for Iron Man 2.’
Feige and Marvel have shown the flexibility to work with improvised post-credit scenes, which has made Marvel Studios more popular among the cast and their fans.
“For Avengers, we were finishing up VFX shots and we put a little shawarma shop in the background of the scene where Iron Man gets smashed into the ground, because Robert Downey Jr. ran with an ad lib about shawarma, and so it was like, ‘Oh, he must have seen that sign and thought about shawarma.’ We were sitting in the cutting room saying, ‘You know what would have been great? Them sitting around eating shawarma at the end credits.’ And then we started thinking, ‘Wait a minute, that’s so great we actually have to do it. We have to figure out a way!’”
Feige later clarified that post-credit scenes are meant to give fans an idea to expect what the future has in store for the MCU and its characters.
“[The ending] is before the credits, that’s really how we look at it. That’s the conclusion of the story that we’re telling, and then if there’s a credits scene after the main one ends or the first one, it’s usually something that ties into the movie you’ve just seen that’s extra. At the very end of the credits, that’s what’s to come.”
We have Ferris Bueller to thank for being Feige’s inspiration to have post-credit scenes in every MCU film because each one of them has been phenomenal. Let’s hope Marvel never gets tired of filming those scenes because fans sure enjoy which future characters will be set to make their live-action debut on the big screen.
What is your favorite post-credit scene in the MCU? We would love to hear your thoughts by tweeting @SuperBroMovies on Twitter!