It's almost hard to believe, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe is rapidly approaching its 10 year anniversary. Opening with Iron Man in 2008, we've seen the MCU change the world of blockbuster franchises, introducing the concept of serialized storytelling and shared universes. But in addition to those massive contributions to the genre, the MCU has also revolutionized another aspect of filmmaking: the post credits scene. Marvel films have become synonymous with this practice, and James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 contained a whopping five scenes that played out during the credits. But where did this idea come from?
It turns out that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is the one responsible for the latest trend of post credits scenes. In a recent interview with Slash Film, Feige revealed how his upbringing and passions for movies contributed to the inclusion of post credits scenes, starting with Nick Fury's scene in Iron Man. He said,
Well, Sam Jackson, Iron Man 1 for sure. That's absolutely how it came about, I always liked that sort of thing, whether it's Ferris Bueller or Masters of the Universe. As a film nerd, I never wanted it to end. I didn't want the experience ... no matter how good or bad the movie was, just the experience of being in the movie theater, I didn't want to end. So I would always sit through the credits. My mom would do that, too.
Well, isn't that sweet. Young Kevin Feige just couldn't get enough movie goodness, so he'd stay through the credits in order to maintain whatever emotional experience he was having. And that sometimes resulted in extra scenes that nobody else got to see.
And that is exactly what has happened in the MCU over the years. Those busybodies who don't have the time to sit through the credits miss a variety of scenes, both comedic and serious. Take The Avengers for example. The mid-credits scene is the very first time audiences see Thanos, who will finally become a major character in Infinity War. That is actually a huge moment for the MCU as a whole, as the battle against Thanos will be the cumulation of all three phases of films. Additionally, The Avengers also included a lighter post-credits scene, where the motley crew devours shawarma in silence after the Battle of New York.
It should be interesting to see what the DCEU's response to the post credits scene is. They will presumably steer clear from the trend, as critics will likely rip into them for piggybacking off of the MCU. We saw the digital release of Lex Luthor's deleted scene in Batman v Superman, so perhaps the DCEU will continue with this format to introduce additional content.