Remember the post-credit scene from 2008’s Iron Man? The one where Shield director Nick Fury approached Tony Stark about the “Avenger Initiative”, effectively kick-starting the MCU? It turns out another mind-blowing version of the same milestone moment was filmed – and it’s only now been unveiled.
It’s all thanks to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who shared the never-before-seen clip at the 45th annual Saturn Awards, revealing footage that strongly references both the X-Men and Spider-Man.
Just like the version we saw 11 years ago, the scene sees Samuel L Jackson’s Fury addressing Stark (Robert Downey Jr) from the back of a shadowy room. However, unlike the final version, Fury goes much further than simply informing Iron-Man about the Avengers,
“As if gamma accidents, radioactive bug bites and assorted mutants weren’t enough, I have to deal with a spoiled brat who doesn’t play well with others and wants to keep all his toys to himself,” he says.
“Who the hell are you?” Stark retorts, before receiving the reply: “Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D. I’m here to talk to you about the Avenger Initiative.”
As you probably spotted, “gamma accidents” is a nod to Bruce Banner’s Hulk, while “radioactive bug bites” points to Spider-man and “assorted mutants” to
the X-Men. Not only are these great references to other comic-book characters, but this scene demonstrates the early ambitions of the MCU, even if this wasn’t the version used in the finished film. After all, before the Disney/Fox merger in 2008, Marvel Studios didn’t hold the rights to The X-Men – they also didn’t have a deal in place with Sony to incorporate Spider-Man into the MCU.
Samuel L Jackson, Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal in the Spider-Man: Far From Home poster (Sony, Marvel)
It could be significant that Feige is sharing the clip now – and not just because this scene is one of many never-before-seen moments to appear on the recently announced Infinity Saga box set. It could be that he wants to subtly tell fans that they always envisaged Spider-Man as a central part of the MCU (of course, thanks to talks with Sony breaking down, the web-slinger may have his Avengers status revoked).
But despite bringing up Spider-Man’s uncertain fate, the clip also serves as a brilliant reminder that The X-Men are heading to the MCU, potentially meaning we’ll soon be treated to some of the best superhero films ever. Well, as long as they don’t recast Wolverine.