“Mr. Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet,” Nick Fury tells Tony Stark in the post-credits scene after the original Iron Man. “I’m here to talk to you about the Avenger initiative.” Looking back 11 years and 22 films later, it’s easy to see how portentous these words were. An alternate post-credits scene shot for Iron Man, unveiled over the weekend at the Saturn Awards by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, was even more ambitious.
“As if gamma accidents, radioactive bug bites and assorted mutants weren’t enough,” Fury says in the scene, “I have to deal with a spoiled brat who doesn’t play well with others and wants to keep all his toys to himself.” These are clear references to The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man and the X-Men.
The Incredible Hulk was to be the film that would directly follow Iron Man, and Spider-Man would eventually be introduced into the MCU in Captain America: Civil War in 2016. With Disney acquiring 20th Century Fox, and the rights to X-Men with it, perhaps all three of Fury’s allusions will become a reality.