15 years after Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark built his first-ever Iron Man suit in a cave with a box of scraps, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is no longer a franchise to enter lightly. With more than 30 films and a growing number of TV shows under its belt, the property that's ruled Hollywood for the past decade now presents many of the same hurdles to entrance as the wide, wide universe of Marvel Comics. Forget being able to watch any one-off MCU film and then simply tune back in for the sequel; unless you've kept up with every relevant entry in the franchise since then, odds are there'll be some pretty big chunks of the story that fly right over your head.
Hand-wringing and hyperbola aside, though, the challenge of servicing both casual audiences and hardcore Marvel Comics fans is one the MCU's creatives have always had to deal with. So noted "Iron Man" director and Happy Hogan actor Jon Favreau, speaking to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige as part of a video discussion commemorating the property's 15-year anniversary. Favreau observed:
"[It's] like you have two movie audiences because you got the casual movie audience that just wants to come and have a good time. You still have to make it fun for them or somebody new, [the] next generation. Then you have the people who know it better than you do."
It's a "very tricky" balance to strike, Favreau added, which Feige agreed with, citing this as "one of the reasons" they put the "Iron Man" credits scene — wherein Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) casually breaks and enters into Tony's mansion (that scamp!) to introduce the concept of the Avenger Initiative — at the very end of the movie's credits. Continuing, the pair revealed it was actually Edgar Wright who suggested this idea in the first place.
Do It Ferris Bueller Style
20 years (!) before the Ant-Family journeyed into the Quantum Realm, a then little-known filmmaker named Edgar Wright and his writing partner Joe Cornish began crafting an "Ant-Man" movie pitch featuring Scott Lang as a burglar in the vein of an Elmore Leonard character. (Think George Clooney in "Out of Sight.") Wright, as you very likely recall, notoriously stepped down as the film's director right before production began at long last in 2014, after which his original ideas for the MCU's size-altering superhero were overhauled.
Despite the scrapping of Wright's vision (he and Kevin Feige have since buried the hatchet), the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy maestro still managed to leave his mark on the MCU. Not wanting the Nick Fury tag to be "intrusive or disruptive" to moviegoers with no idea why Samuel L. Jackson would be chilling in Tony Stark's living room, Feige said the decision was made to move the scene to part-way through the credits of "Iron Man." However, Jon Favreau noted it was Wright who suggested shifting it to the very end of the credits.
"Remember when we showed it to him [Edgar Wright] at Skywalker [Ranch]? It was just after the first few credits. He's like, 'Nah, you gotta put it all the way [at the end],'" Favreau recalled, with Feige comparing it to the iconic post-credits scene from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
It was a great call on Wright's part, giving rise to the MCU's famous credits scene tradition in the process. However, 15 years later, that "very tricky" balance of servicing multiple audiences has only increased tenfold for the MCU, to the point where even its tried-and-true traditions like the credits scenes can do more harm than good for the franchise's storytelling. Such is the price of success.
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The post Edgar Wright Suggested Saving the Iron Man Credits Scene for the Very End appeared first on /Film.