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How Marvel Decides What To Put Into Post-Credit Scenes

Since arriving on the Hollywood stage back in 2008, Marvel Studios has become known for creating two very different kinds of post-credits scenes. There are the more epic ones that tend to make big reveals and tease future movies; and then there are the ones that are made to be a bit more silly and just add to the fun charm of the Marvel brand. A result of these two disparate directions is that audiences never really know what they are going to get, but what may surprise you is that there is an on-going debate behind every Marvel film regarding exactly which way to go with the special sequences.

The subject of the post-credits scenes was raised last year while we were on the set of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, last summer and it was while speaking with Executive Producer Jeremy Latcham that we got some inside knowledge regarding how a direction is determined. He told us that there is a push and pull between the marketing and creative teams behind the individual Marvel movies, and it’s during these debates that the merits of teases vs. gags are weighed. Said Latcham,

We’re always balancing the tags, because there's always a push, you know? Marketing-wise, people say, ‘Oh, we can set up the next film!’ And we go, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’re gonna just have fun with it, you know?’

Unfortunately, trying to strike a balance between the two can be tricky as well. Take, for example, the final shot of Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World, which featured a giant, other-worldly beast romping around London and chasing birds. This scene was created merely as a joke, but the folks at Marvel also recognized that there would be some fans who expect it to be paid off at a later point, as many of the post-credits sequences are. Unfortunately, Jeremy Latcham made it pretty clear that’s not going to happen any time soon. He explained,

The weird beast that's running around London at the end of Thor: The Dark World does not make a cameo in this movie. I think that is just for fun. I mean, he's not like gonna factor into the plot in any conceivable way. I remember seeing that, and I was like [sighs]. There's gonna be phone calls. And maybe he falls in the ocean, I don't know. Maybe one day we’ll see it.

If there’s going to be so much turmoil and conflict, why even go through with making these post-credits scenes at all? Well, it’s basically because these scenes have very much become a big part of the Marvel Studios brand, and the fact that the company can always reflect on the first ever post-credits tease and remember the Nick Fury monologue that basically launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Said Latcham,

Everyone goes back to that first one on Iron Man 1. And it did so much world building. It kind of paved the way for this entire universe to kind of exist, and said, ‘We’re part of a big universe, you don't even know it yet.’ And that was such a rallying cry for the whole idea of MCU.

Hopefully The Avengers: Age of Ultron will follow in the footsteps of the first Avengers movie and feature both a post-credits tease and a fun little joke scene, but we’ll just have to wait and see when the movie comes out on May 1st.

Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.