Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of a cinematic experiment that no one was really sure about back when it started in 2008. 22 films later, however, the series is a Hollywood juggernaut that shows no signs of slowing. But while there is still clearly a future for Marvel’s Heroes on the big screen, it won’t be like anything audiences have experienced thus far.
Even so, that didn’t stop the powers that be from dropping a little tease. While the franchise capper didn’t have any extra scenes to set up forthcoming movies, for those who remained in their seats, there was a stinger of sorts that focused on the early years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
As the last of the credits begin crawl up the screen, an ominous sound, like a hammer pounding on an anvil, can be heard. This is clearly meant as a callback to the now famous scene of Tony Stark building his first suit in a Middle Eastern cave during the events of Iron Man.
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Interestingly, it turns out that this moment actually wasn’t the idea of directors Joe and Anthony Russo. Rather, it came from the mind of the president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige. The Russos have further elaborated on the decision to include the Iron Man coda during an interview with USA Today, stating that, originally, “it was never in the cards,” with Joe further clarifying the following:
“It was called ‘Endgame’ for a reason. This is it. This is the ending. The book is closed on that chapter of the Marvel universe and a new book will get written.”
Now, this could simply be an homage to MCU’s founding character who’ll never be seen again. Or, it could be a sign that while this iteration of Iron Man might be gone, his legacy remains and could be passed to someone else, in much the same way that Steve Rogers handed off the shield, and the mantle, of Captain America in the closing moments of Avengers: Endgame. Whatever the case, it seems that Kevin Feige wanted one last opportunity to pay respect to the hero that kick started the franchise.