Sure, you may know some of the trivia that is on this list, but will you know all of it? From “Iron Man” up to the very latest additions in the canon from Disney Plus, we cover the gamut.
Captain America Slowly Become Disillusioned
Steve Rogers was the first Avenger. A man who embodied the most heroic traits of America and humanity and whose sacrifice saved millions before he became an Avenger. However, pay special attention to his suit through the movies, and see he slowly lost some faith.
From “Age of Ultron” to “Infinity War,” his suit loses the details and patches, such as the Avengers logos and silver star on the chest, that were so emblematic. This could have been slow foreshadowing that pointed at him giving up the mantle of Captain America, or it could have been the character wearing down after so many tragedies.
A Date That Means Something
Pepper Potts and her boss, Tony Stark, had a relationship that slowly grew through the many movies where they both appeared, going from a boss and his assistant to much, much more. However, at the end of the Avengers, these two characters are trying to get through some of the horrors that they've seen at the hands of Thanos, and they discuss their proposed wedding date.
It's August 27th, which is also the real wedding anniversary of Robert Downey Jr. It's possible that the writers threw the detail in, but it's also likely that Downey changed it to fit his life.
It's Time to Go
Spider-Man has had a number of movies, but only a few set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of them, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” has some creative composition elements that you might not have noticed on the first watch. As Adrian Toomes – also known as the vulture – muses about Peter Parker and Spider-Man, he's sitting at a stoplight, and the light is red.
When he realizes that Peter Parker IS Spider-man, the timing of his revelation coincides with the stoplight turning green. His brain has the green light to make the connection, and now he's off and running. Or, well, flying.
A Biological Clue
Since the first “Thor” movie came out, it's been known to everybody that Loki is actually the son of Laufi, the ruler of the frost giants. This comes as a huge revelation to Loki – a character that struggles with it for some time. Where do his allegiances really lie? He is constantly moving back and forth, at one point working with Thanos and at the next point fighting against him.
Some eagle-eyed viewers of the first “Avengers” movie might have noticed that the computer screens that show him have his internal temperature being ice cold, just like a frost giant would.
Going With What's Comfortable
Being shot forward about seventy years is going to make for a hard adjustment. Captain America has to go through this difficult transition, but there are at least a few things that he can use to ground himself. Particularly, he can wear shoes that were already in wide use before he got trapped in the ice.
Converse shoes first hit store shelves in 1908, long before Steve was even born, and he wears them in the post-credits scene from “Captain America: The First Avenger.” While the look probably changed a bit, it was nice to have something familiar.
Prepping for a Cameo in a Cameo
Before we lost the mast of Marvel, Stan Lee was seen in almost every movie for a brief cameo. This includes one of his last, in the movie “Captain Marvel.” He's spotted at a diner, reading a script for the movie “Mallrats.” Now, why would he be doing such a thing? Well, it all comes down to timing.
The movie “Mallrats” came out in 1995, which is when “Captain Marvel” was set. Stan Lee has a cameo in that movie as well, which means this cameo is about a different cameo. After all the cameos, they had to do something a little different.
The Compound Grows
Of course, the Avengers have their own little place other than Tony Stark's tower, which houses all their...you know, their stuff. Basically, whatever the movie needed, that made sense. Every time we see this compound – beginning in “Age of Ultron” – it grows larger and larger, nicer and nicer. Bigger buildings are added, older buildings are refurbished, defenses are added, etc.
It kind of also becomes the entire SHIELD base of operations, which means they need a lot of offices and meeting rooms and, like, bathrooms and stuff like that.
A Picture-Perfect Inclusion
Tony Stark likes to be in pictures since he's a big fame hog. One of the first things he does in “Iron Man” is, takes a selfie with a soldier. In “Iron Man 2,” he takes a picture with his then-not-girlfriend (we think) Pepper Potts in Monaco. Later on, that very same photo is visible in a different Marvel movie.
Specifically, it's “Avengers,” and it can be seen in the background of Tony's office while he is facing down Loki near the end of the movie. Good luck catching that one on the first watch.
The Power of Citrus
It turns out that if you introduce things like changing sizes or traveling through time, you have to deal with the consequences. The MCU lets us know that these things give people nausea, and who's the first to discover this but Ant-Man, the guy who changes shape?
The rest of the team comes to understand this as well once they start jumping through time, but Scott Lang is there to help by spreading around orange slices, which, for some reason, helps you feel better. Citrus can do many things – they're great for inflammation – but we don't know if this is true.
Using the Soul Stone
The power of the Infinity Stones is never fully explained, and that's okay. We don't need everything to be laid out for us exactly – that just makes everything so boring. Surprise us! Keep the action moving, don't give us boring explanations! That also means if there aren't any hard and fast rules, there are plenty of fun things that can be done, like during the fight between Thanos and Dr. Strange.
The sorcerer has plenty of power, but when Thanos hits him with a punch from the soul stone, Strange's soul is separated from his body, indicated by a ghostly form.
He Still Remembers
The scripts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are tightly wound around each other, often written or assisted by the same people, meaning there are plenty of details that go from one to the next. At one point in “Avengers: Infinity War,” Thanos gives a little speech about knowing what it's like to lose.
He says it “turns the legs to jelly.” He proves this to be the case in “Avengers: Endgame” when, after all the action, he loses. Immediately, he sits. Jelly legs strike. This is our favorite kind of detail. It's obvious on repeated viewings, and it isn't thrust into the viewer's faces.
A Small Survival Tactic
Ant-Man is one of the comic reliefs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he still knows how to survive when the chips are down. Being able to shrink down is beneficial in many ways, but one that might escape the casual viewer has to do with mass.
An object with more mass is going to have more momentum, but if that object can shrink after being hit, it's going to take less damage. Or something like that. After a surprise attack in “Avengers: Endgame,” Scott Lang shrinks down to survive a wave of destructive energy from Thanos's forces.
Like the Very First Film
The climactic finale to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (at least, at the time) has Thanos and Iron Man meet face-to-face. It all seems to point to Thanos winning once more, but Iron Man gets the better of him. Some people have noticed that the framing of the shots is just like those of the scene where Obadiah Stane betrays Tony Stark from the very first movie in the Universe.
They aren't exact copies, but they're pretty close, and they end the same way, too – Tony Stark uses his wits to earn a victory, even if they come at a cost.
A Long Friendship
Through the trials of World War II, being frozen in ice, military brainwashing, and all the other stuff that happened between these two, the friendship of Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes survived. They'd known each other since they were kids. At the end of “Avengers: Endgame,” Captain America realizes he finally had a way to be with his beloved Peggy Carter, and Bucky knew what was happening.
The other members of the team thought that Cap was just going to take a quick trip, but he was really planning to stay a while. A long while. Bucky knew this was it.
Snagging a Selfie
Since he's both a famous entrepreneur and a public superhero, Tony Stark has lots of people that would like to have a picture with him. This began all the way back in the very first MCU movie, which had a soldier snapping a selfie with Tony before he became Iron Man.
Even those that work in the NEXUS want a keepsake of meeting Stark, which is why a few employees snap a pic – a gal gives a thumbs up to a guy who is taking the picture while Stark has his back turned. It's quick, and not many might have noticed, but it's there.
I Saw This Nice Place
We all remember the post-credits scene from “The Avengers,” which has the crew sitting around a table, pounding some well-earned shawarma. Some of them, anyway. While Thor is appreciative of the good grub, and others are enjoying the food, Steve Rogers is just sitting there, not moving.
Why did Tony want to eat something he had never even heard of before? Well, it turns out there's a shot during the big battle where the shawarma place is visible in the background, partially obscured by smoke. Of course, Tony Stark would be the kind of person to notice a new restaurant while fighting for his life.
While Jarvis, Tony Stark's computer buddy, eventually becomes Vision, he's still incredibly useful before that. One example is during the huge action set piece at the end of “The Avengers.” Hawkeye is busy shooting down alien invaders and notices their crafts have difficulty banking.
He advises the rest of the team to find a tight corner. Immediately, as we look at the close-up of Stark's face inside his helmet, we see an image of a path being plotted around a building. Jarvis was quick to increase Stark's chances, giving him a way to escape and keep them occupied while they find a way to win.
Looking the Worse for Wear
Thor makes some new friends during “Thor: Ragnarok,” including Korg and Miek, who were all thrust together to stop Thor's older sister from succeeding. After that, they stayed friends, even hanging out after the terrible Thanos snap. In “Avengers: Endgame,” they're all chilling together, playing some video games, and trying not to let the crushing darkness in.
We all remember that scene as including chunky Thor, but Korg let himself go a little, too. You can see he has moss growing all over the surface of his rock, and he looks a little more weathered, too. Even rock people can feel like ignoring personal hygiene.
Hiding the Beard
Captain America eventually adds a beard to his look for the later movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Chris Evans had been rocking the bearded look for much longer than a lot of fans realize. In fact, the first time it's on camera is during the legendary shawarma scene after the credits of “The Avengers.” We just can't see it.
This scene was shot long after the rest of the movie had wrapped, and Evans was growing a beard for “Snowpiercer.” He couldn't just shave it, so they had Captain America hide it with a fist, staying motionless while the others ate.
The introduction we get to Sam Wilson – also known as the Falcon – is when Steve Rogers, newly thawed and living in our crazy modern world, blows past him during a run through Washington, D.C. Rogers repeatedly calls out “on your left” to Wilson while lapping him over and over, which does much to annoy Wilson.
However, Wilson gets to bring this back in “Avengers: Endgame” when Wilson is able to fly in with some reinforcements. He very well might have saved Cap's life, and he got to take us all back to when their friendship was just beginning.
The Food Thing
This is one of the better-known pieces of Marvel trivia. Robert Downey Jr. is the perfect casting for Tony Stark – there's lots of great casting in the Marvel universe, but RDJ is by far the best. Case in point, during the filming of “The Avengers,” he hid snacks all over the set so he could munch between shots.
One of these instances made it into the film. Stark is eating blueberries, and he offers one of them to Captain America. Downey threw this in since it seemed to fit with Stark's character. The editors agreed and kept the shot.
Incredible Attention to Detail
One of the best parts about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the details that go from one movie to the next. A perfect example of one of these details is from “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which has Thor travel to Earth via the spectacular Bifrost. It spits him out right outside the Avengers compound, leaving a detailed, burnt-in mark on the ground.
This mark can be seen during “Ant-Man,” though it takes a sharp eye and a pause button. It can be seen on the grass near the jets during an establishing shot.
Sticking With Swayze
The quick wit of Tony Stark can go over a lot of viewers' heads, but they aren't the only ones. Thor also has some trouble keeping up, especially since he has no way of understanding the references that Stark throws out at a dozen a minute. In “The Avengers,” he refers to Thor as “Point Break,” noting his similarity to the long-haired Patrick Swayze in the movie.
This comes back years later in “Thor: Ragnarok,” which has Thor trying numerous code words to activate one of the Avenger's jets. He eventually realized that his code word was from when they had first met: Point Break.
Getting Out the Old Wardrobe
The cameos of Stan Lee were one of the many things that people loved to see in all the Marvel Cinematic Universe additions, but one of them had more than just the man – they had his clothes. Seems obvious, right? Well, not when we explain. In “Avengers: Endgame,” there's a scene set in the 1970s that has Stan Lee playing an aging hippie, and it's possible that he's actually wearing his old clothes from the era, as some pictures tell us.
He's even sporting a mustache that would have looked right at home during that time – and which, of course, he had then.
Referencing the Comics
There are plenty of people who, despite their love of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, haven't made the jump into comics. There are still plenty who have been thumbing the pages for decades, and the movies throw them plenty of bones. While plenty has changed, there are still some details that sneak through.
For instance, in one of the post-credits scenes in “The Avengers,” Thanos says that to challenge them (meaning the Avengers) is to court death. This is in reference to Thanos's motive in the comics while on his rampage, which was to marry Lady Death, a terrifying, deadly entity.
When different sections of the MCU started coming together for the final movies, you could be sure there would be some people that didn't get along. Star-Lord and Thor were two examples, mainly since it was clear that Thor was hitting on Gamora, who was in a burgeoning relationship with Peter Quill at the time.
Obviously, Quill wasn't happy with it, and he took to attacking Thor's looks for the rest of the series. He even describes the God of Thunder as “Not that good-looking” to Spider-Man at one point. He also says that Thor needed a shave, which is a personal choice.
Taking Inspiration From the Past
Tony Stark is a genius, but even he comes up against problems that he can't solve without much help. While he's trying to see if there's some way to undo Thanos's victory during “Avengers: Endgame,” there seems to be no solution. That is until he takes a look at a picture he took with Peter Parker – someone who had fallen prey to the snap.
The diploma in the picture is upside-down, which gives Stark the inspiration to turn a time-travel problem on its head. We don't know what an inverted Mobius strip model is, but it ended up working.
Not Strong Enough
The Black Panther suit uses vibration to store and release the kinetic energy that strikes it. Not only does this protect the wearer, but it gives the wearer a powerful weapon to strike back at foes. However, if a foe is too strong – like Thanos, for instance – it can overload the suit and explode.
We see this happen during the hectic and frantic fight at the end of “Avengers: Infinity War,” which has T'Challa going up against the mad titan with everything he can muster. It doesn't work, the suit explodes, and T'Challa is taken out of the fight.
The Killing Blow
Thanos is confident in himself, that's for sure. He always thinks he's going to win, no matter what, which is one of the reasons why he tells Thor that the god of thunder would have to strike Thanos in the head to finish him. Thor does so at the start of “Avengers: Endgame” to kill Thanos.
Then, when the past version shows up to stop their meddling, Thor keeps trying to strike Thanos in the head, but he is never able to connect. He keeps missing, or something gets in the way, eventually leading to Tony Stark having to steal the Infinity stones.
Friends at Last
At the climax of the Avengers saga, the heroes must get the Infinity stones from Thanos. Captain America orders Ant-Man and the Wasp to get started on part of the plan, and both of them respond with, “We're on it, Cap.” They grin and get to work.
This is a reference to Wasp mocking Scott Lang for referring to Captain America as “Cap” in the movie “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” wondering if they're friends now just because they fought on the same battlefield. By the time of Endgame, it doesn't matter – just get the job done and call people what makes the most sense.
Shoutout to Shawarma
We all know that the Avengers grabbed a little bit of lunch after defeating Loki and stopping an alien invasion in “The Avengers,” so including it as a reference made perfect sense once time travel got thrown into the mix. We get to see a little more of what happened between the battle and the lunch.
For instance, the Avengers get to meet a guy named Alexander Pierce. He asks them where they think they're going, and Thor answers that they're going to “get a bit of lunch” and then take Loki to Asgard. Plenty of people realized “a bit of lunch” meant shawarma.
Who Is Stan Lee?
Of course, in the real world, Stan Lee is the creator of many of the on-screen heroes that have been wowing us ever since “Iron Man.” But what is he in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? He has a cameo in almost every movie, appearing as both himself and other characters. Well, his cameo in “Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2” seems to shed some light on it.
The Watchers are an alien species that can see entire universes. He's spotted telling the watchers about the stuff that happened in the other MCU movies, which means he might be one of them. Or an independent contractor.
Characters That Change
If you're an extra in a movie, it's a pretty clear indication that you aren't going to be showing up in any other movies in the series. That is almost always the case when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but there is one notable exception. In “The Incredible Hulk,” which is technically in the MCU, Bruce Banner (played by Edward Norton) gives a young college student a slice of pizza.
That same actor later shows up in the Spider-Man movie as Mr. Harrington. He's Peter Parker's teacher, so now we know what he was in college for.
A Fake Cat
If you were paying close attention to “Captain Marvel,” you might have noticed that something is amiss with the cat that shows up. Particularly, you might have noticed that it isn't a real cat. Indeed, the cat is a mixture of CGI and stuffed animals. But...why go through so much work when there are plenty of real cats out there that need acting jobs?
It's all because of Brie Larson, who is allergic to cats. She couldn't do any scenes with a real cat, and if you pause the movie, it's pretty easy to tell.
Coming Off the Throne
The quasi, ersatz, pseudo-father-daughter relationship between Thanos and Gamora is a complicated one, and that's putting it very mildly. Gamora has never really forgiven her “father” for all the things he's done, and she quickly joins the fight against him once she realizes she isn't the only one fighting.
However, Thanos really does love her like a daughter – she has mentioned that she hates his throne chair, from which he plans his conquest, and in “Avengers: Infinity War,” he steps off it and sits on the staircase leading up to it to help her feel more comfortable.
Just Like Her Name
Mantis was an odd addition to the Guardians of the Galaxy crew. She was direct and humorous, and she wasn't very good at fighting. Not a great thing in the Marvel universe since that's how almost all problems are solved. She had to learn quickly in order to survive the fight against Thanos, and she came up with her own method of battling.
In “Avengers: Infinity War,” she came up with a fighting stance that was just like her name, holding her hands like a praying mantis as she crept upon Thanos. She couldn't do much, but at least she was willing to try.
The Secrets of the Fat Suit
Most of the time, when we see Thor, he has the heavenly muscles of a supreme warrior. However, depression hit him hard after Thanos's victory, and in “Avengers: Endgame,” we see him as a much heavier, fatter god of thunder. We couldn't expect Chris Hemsworth to put on all that weight in between being ripped, so the obvious answer was to use a fat suit, a time-honored Hollywood tradition.
The suit they came up with had noticeable seams on the hands, which led to another addition – the fingerless gloves that Thor wears during most of the scenes.
There Were Casualties
While successful, the MCU films aren't without their criticisms. One of the early ones was the huge, incredible battle in “The Avengers.” Despite involving the entire city of New York, showed us very few actual casualties. In reality, there would have been thousands, if not millions, of people who lost their lives.
Now, this is partially due to the age rating, but it still makes it a little unrealistic. That's why, in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” they added a memorial statue to first responders and others who lost their lives in Grand Central Station – the previous statue had been destroyed during the battle.
A Spoiler in an Earlier Film
While there are tons and tons of callbacks in the Marvel movies, there isn't a great deal of foreshadowing unless you count the obvious fact that Thanos is coming and he wants the infinity stones. However, in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Tony Stark drops a line that lets us know what the final film in the flagship series would be: “We're the Avengers.
We can bust arms dealers all the livelong day...but that up there...that's the endgame.” He is referring to Thanos' imminence, and it's this declaration that leads him to create Ultron in an effort to strengthen their forces.
While meeting Sam Wilson, Captain America gets something to add to the list of things that he'd missed while frozen in ice. Wilson has him add the Marvin Gaye soundtrack “Trouble Makers,” and we see a bunch of other things. This list was specific to the region of the movie.
The German version included Oktoberfest and the Berlin Wall, France had Daft Punk and “The Fifth Element,” Spain had Rafa Nadal and the 1978 Constitution, the UK had Sean Connery, and The Beatles, Australia, and New Zealand had Steve Irwin, Italy had Ferrari at the F1 Grand Prix, Latin America had Octavio Paz, etc.
Cassie in the Comics
Scott Lang (Ant-Man) loves his daughter Cassie despite his difficulties in being in her life, but she knows he's a superhero. During “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” Cassie says how fun it would be to join her father on his superhero adventures. This references the comic, which has Cassie become a superhero with several names.
We also had a chance to see this character in action since Emma Fuhrmann was cast to play Cassie in “Avengers: Endgame,” but she didn't join the fight. The actress was eighteen back then, and now another actress has taken up the mantle, Kathryn Newton, for “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.”
Bringing Back the Callsign
Maria Rambeau is the best friend of Captain Marvel in her movie – a fellow pilot that is breaking all kinds of barriers, including the sound barrier. Rambeau's callsign in the movie is “Photon,” which is a shout-out to the comics and perhaps a call forward to an eventual addition to the MCU. In the comics, Photon is the name Rambeau's daughter Monica uses once she takes over as Captain Marvel.
Since Monica is a big part of the series “WandaVision,” there's at least a chance that she eventually takes up her mother's callsign. She was already becoming special during “WandaVision,” after all.
A Cuddly Codename
A lot of films are shot in what one might call “secret,” using codenames to keep information from leaking too much before the film is out. “The Avengers,” being one of the biggest movie events ever, obviously went with this tactic to keep out paparazzi and stop leaks. Was the codename something epic and amazing? Not exactly. Not a very good codename if that was the case.
Actually, Tom Hiddleston (Loki, just in case you didn't know) told newspapers that the codename for the first Avengers movie was “Group Hug.” This is despite the Avengers fighting for most of the film.
Time to Hit the Buffet
Anybody who has seen a movie featuring Thor knows that the guy has packed on the muscle. Not only did this require a lot of lifting weights, but you can't build muscle without the right components – food. Protein, in particular. He had to gain twenty pounds of muscle for “Thor” right before slimming down for the movie “Rush” right before gaining it all back for “Thor: The Dark World.”
He apparently ate protein-packed meals every three hours, which included cheese, eggs, and multiple protein shakes. If you've never bulked, eating a lot of food can be a lot more difficult than it seems.
For His Eyes Only
“Avengers: Endgame” was a long, complicated, intricate movie. Many characters went off on their own until the final battle. Thus, many of the actors and actresses weren't given full scripts, instead just receiving the scripts for their own scenes. This made it a lot easier to clamp down on leaks and spoilers.
There was just one person who had the entire script since this person was sure to be trusted: Robert Downey Jr., the first member of the team, knew everything beforehand, and he wasn't going to breathe a word of it to anyone.
Four Widows for One Movie
Natasha Romanov, the Black Widow, pulls off some incredible stunts, gets into amazing fights, and goes toe-to-toe with monstrous enemies. Scarlett Johansson, talented as she is, can't exactly do all that, and certainly not while she's pregnant. For the movie “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Johansson had a triplicate of stunt doubles.
This eventually became so confusing for some of the other actors that we have stories like Chris Hemsworth starting a conversation with Johansson...only to realize after a little while that he was talking to one of the stunt doubles. The fact that Widow loves wigs must have been a nice help.
Hiring the Experts
Superheroes in a fight against invading aliens are good, but the army should probably be there, too. That's what happened during the big New York battle in “The Avengers,” since there's no way Iron Man could take them all on. The military seen in the movie is the real deal! They're members of the Ohio-based 391st Military Police Force Battalion, which gave their actions in the movie a far more authentic feeling than the actors could.
Of course, they had to get used to fighting against green-screen monsters, so it wasn't exactly the same thing, but it was still a better look than random nobodies.
A Big Boost in Revenue
Yes, yes, the Avengers love some tasty shawarma, but you know who else does? Everybody, thanks to “The Avengers.” The end-credits scene that had them all sitting around a table and enjoying some well-earned grub boosted the popularity and sales of shawarma to unseen numbers all over the country and the world.
They went through the roof in Los Angeles in particular, with one shawarma place even seeing an overall eighty percent boost in revenue after the movie came out. Even now, more than ten years after the movie, it's a much more well-known bit of culinary culture.
Made for the Role
Many people who watch the movies are wowed by how well Samuel L. Jackson fits into the Nick Fury role. Well, that's because Nick Fury was modeled after him! The original version of Nick Fury was white and fought in World War II, but artist Mark Millar decided to update the character for a new era of comics, using Jackson as a character template.
Millar would eventually apologize to Jackson for “stealing his image,” but Jackson said he was fine with it. A nine-picture deal in the most famous movies ever tends to create good feelings.
No Longer Obscure
Any Marvel comic fan could have told you plenty about Iron Man, but to the general public; he was pretty obscure. Nowhere near Superman, Batman, or even Spider-Man. Because of that, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie had a lot of trouble getting made, with over thirty writers passing on the project.
Yes, times have really changed, but remember, back in the aughts, superhero movies were still a risky proposition unless the character was way more famous than some guy in a metal suit. But then, “Iron Man” touched down in a three-point landing, and suddenly the world was very, very different.
Calling in Some Backup
The Marvel Cinematic Universe movies have plenty of knots to untangle. With so many movies, so many characters, and so much danger from the villains, the screenwriters pulled off a monumental task when they wrapped everything up. However, it wasn't easy.
The writers for “Avengers: Endgame” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus, were having a lot of trouble figuring out how to finish it all, so they had to bring in Eric Pearson, who wrote “Thor: Ragnarok” to help them out. Time travel, character deaths, so many heroes and villains – yeah, the more, the merrier.
An Entire Country Foreshadowed
Many viewers find “Black Panther” to be a bright spot in the MCU, and when “Avengers: Age of Ultron” came out, many were thrilled to see T'Challa and Wakanda enter the universe. However, if you're looking closely enough, you might have seen that Wakanda was part of the universe eight years before “Black Panther” came out – it was first spotted in “Iron Man 2.”
No, the movie didn't visit it or have T'Challa in the background, but the name can be seen on a map that Nick Fury is using to identify hotspots.
Worried About Fame
Despite being one of the most famous actors, thanks to the MCU movies, Chris Evans wasn't thrilled with the idea of becoming Captain America. The producers for the first movie, “Captain America: The First Avenger,” had to ask him three times to become the title character, likely aware that this would lock him in for a while and lead to a big spotlight.
Why was he so hesitant? He was worried about how all the fame would affect his private life. He certainly had a right to consider this. While he's famous as Cap, Evans seems to prefer smaller, more indie films for the most part.
Not in the Script
When Steve Rogers pops out of the device that transforms him into Captain America, he's gone from a tiny little shrimp to the mega-swole beefcake we all know and love. Well, that was the first time the rest of the cast had seen him in order to create a more natural reaction.
It became a little too natural for Hayley Atwell, who played Peggy Carter, who couldn't stop herself from reaching and caressing Evan's rippling pecs. The editors and director liked it so much that they left it in the finished film.
A Familiar Verse
Spoilers here, but Nick Fury bites the bullet in “Captain America: Winter Soldier.” Except for the double spoiler, he actually doesn't. It's all a trick to get the bad guys off his tail. We're given a sight of the gravestone that they used to complete the trick, and it has a Bible verse on it – like many headstones. It's Ezekiel 25:17.
The real Bible verse says something very different. Why the change? Movie fans will know immediately that this is a reference to “Pulp Fiction,” in which Samuel L. Jackson's character Jules Winnfield recites the re-written verse before offing somebody.
A Big Jump
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has found a bunch of people to helm their biggest properties by looking at every possible option. The Russo brothers, Anthony and Joseph, came from more or less nowhere before going on to direct four films in the MCU, including “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame.”
What had they done before that? Not a great deal – a few movies, a few episodes of television shows, a little bit of writing. They had done little between 2006 and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” but it was all thanks to some “Community” episodes that got them the job.
It Ended Up the Same Way
Tony Stark's goal while he's coming up with the Ultron program is peace. Safety. Security. It doesn't work out the way he had planned. While he's working on it, he brings up a quote from British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain: “peace in our time.” If you know where that quote actually came from, you might be able to figure out how well the Ultron project is going to work.
It was while Chamberlain was negotiating with the German chancellor at the time to try and keep the peace in the late 1930s. You probably know how that turned out.
A Sneaky Name
The first Thor movie, titled... “Thor” ...is one of the most basic films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's a simple hero's story, and Thor has to prove himself worthy to wield the hammer Mjolnir once more. It's not that simple, of course. The hammer is sent to Earth, and Thor is sent after it to see what happens.
The place the hammer lands is called Puente Antiguo, which means “ancient bridge” in Spanish – perhaps the Asgardian Bifrost had struck there before? It's an interesting detail that the movie included that probably slipped under the radar for many people.
A Movie by Any Other Name
“Avengers: Endgame” is a good name for a movie...but is it a GREAT name for a movie? The people who made the decision are actually split on it. There are some who say it was always supposed to be given the subtitle “Endgame,” while others say it was the best idea they had when they had to start marketing.
Marvel, the company, has always said that that was the name they had intended because, of course, but the directors said the original was going to be “Infinity Gauntlet.” It feels like “Endgame” is a better pick for the literal end of an era.
I Made You
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a place separate from the comics, though a lot of the groundwork as far as characters and relationships are set in the comics. Did you know that one of the writers, Michael Straczynski, has a little cameo in one of the movies? He's one of the poor, unworthy humans that tries to pull Thor's hammer out of the ground of “Thor,” but guess what? He's the writer of the “Thor” comic books!
We don't know if that's irony or just a fun little inclusion, but it's nice to get some recognition when your character gets to the big screen.
A Familiar Name
In the first Thor movie, Dr. Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman, loans the lost and confused Thor a shirt that she says belonged to her old boyfriend. We later get to see that this boyfriend's name is Dr. Donald Blake, an M.D., and comic fans who know their stuff would be able to recognize the moniker.
We never meet the MCU's Donald Blake (or at least not yet), but that was the name that Thor went by while he was on Earth – essentially his alter ego.
Not the First Time
Korg, the rocky friend of Thor who is voiced by “Thor: Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi; made his appearance in that same movie. He quickly turned into one of the more loved parts of the film thanks to the wit and humor he brought. However, he technically was in another movie, but it's pretty heavy technically.
At the beginning of “Thor: The Dark World,” Thor is fighting a rock monster that bears a striking resemblance to Korg. Korg is a legacy character in the comic books, but the character was never named on-screen, allowing Ragnarok to introduce him as a far more cheerful, friendly rock guy.
The Two Gloves
Until “Thor: Ragnarok” came out, a number of fans were wondering about something specific: how does Thanos have the infinity gauntlet (as we see during a peek in “Avengers: Age of Ultron”) when we saw the gauntlet inside Odin's vault during “Thor”? Many believed it to be an error on the part of the filmmakers, and that's possible, but they solved it by having Hela catch sight of the one in the vault and name it a fake during “Thor: Ragnarok.”
There's also the fact that Thanos's glove is left-handed, while Odin's is right-handed. Another mistake? Or a clue that they weren't the same thing?
Awkward on Set
A guy as charming and lovable as Scott Lang, played by the equally charming and lovable Paul Rudd, must end up with a romantic interest, right? Right. She's Hope Van Dyne, and her mother, Janet Van Dyne, is played by Michelle Pfeiffer. Okay, but what's the issue?
Rudd and Pfeiffer had previously starred together in the movie “I Could Never be your Woman,” which has the two enter into a romantic relationship. Hopefully, both of the actors are good at taking some teasing because we bet there was plenty of it.
A Rare Writing Credit
Most of the time, a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a couple of writers, and then the actors take the script and act it out. That's...how most movies work, now that we're thinking about it. But, there are a pair of films in the MCU that buck this trend slightly – both “Ant-Man” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” feature Paul Rudd as a writer, despite him having the lead role.
The production of “Ant-Man” was up and down at times, so Rudd likely just stepped in for a little bit of help, and it did give his character's lines a more natural feeling.
Worried for a Good Reason
In “The Avengers,” The Incredible Hulk plummets from the sky to crash into a building. He's fine since he's the Hulk, but the security guard that finds him is still pretty hesitant, asking if Bruce Banner is an alien. It's a fair question, given all the weird stuff that had been happening up to that point, but it's also yet another sly wink.
The guard is played by Harry Dean Stanton, who also played one of the crew members onboard the ship in “Alien.” There is, of course, no way they're the same character, but for those aware, it's yet another level of clever writing.
A Big Problem
One of the more famous storylines in the Marvel comics is “A Demon in a Bottle,” and it has to do with Tony Stark. As you might guess from the title, Stark becomes dependent on alcohol as the pressures of life and superheroism start getting to him.
Nobody really thought this was going to make it into the MCU – and it didn't – but it still got a pseudo-shout-out in “Iron Man 2,” which has Stark imbibing a little too much at his birthday party. He ends up fighting with his friend James “Rhodey” Rhodes, but that was all we really saw.
Not Related, but Still Fun
Most of you might be familiar with Black Sabbath. Even if you aren't, let's be real. One of this groundbreaking band's more famous songs is “Iron Man,” even though it has nothing to do with the comic book character. It's actually about a guy who travels into the future and sees a coming apocalypse, which is pretty rad.
The song was written in 1970, and although Marvel's Iron Man was already around, there was no inspiration taken from the comics. In “The Avengers,” Tony Stark wears a Sabbath shirt, which is both in-character and could be a shout-out to the similarly-named song.
Injured for the Shot
There's a scene at the end of “Captain America: Winter Soldier” that has Captain America hold on to a helicopter to keep it from getting away. His bicep muscle bulges to an incredible size during the shot, but there are a lot of reasons it was silly.
For one, Chris Evans actually hurt his arm during the shot, despite not actually stopping a helicopter. Second, that sort of grip isn't a good one to do what he wanted – the director just wanted those big arms center-stage. Finally, Cap switches grips during the shot, which would have easily let the helicopter get away.
The rights to a number of the Marvel characters are still so complicated it would be its own article. You still can't watch the new Spider-Man movies on Disney Plus, and his inclusion in the MCU was almost a miracle. The writers for “Captain America: Civil War” weren't sure if they could get Spidey in their movie, so they used Black Panther in a larger role that would have likely gone to Peter Parker.
They did end up getting the rights, and everything worked out, but the movie could have been quite different from what we ended up seeing.
Yeah, Obviously, Change That
While “Black Panther” introduced a lot of new fans to a new side of the Marvel comic universe, the movie made one particular change that nobody is upset about. The character M'Baku, who is seen covered in fur in the movie, is referred to in the comics as “Man-Ape.”
We hope we don't have to go into detail as to why that was something that needed to change. He's a key character in “Black Panther,” so we bet Disney and Marvel took one look at that name, cringed, and decided to get rid of it altogether.
Getting Pumped Up
The characters in “Captain America: Civil War” are at loggerheads. The Avengers are split down the middle of a complicated topic, and they get into a huge fight at the end. It's great. The recently revived Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes, is one of them, and to make sure there was the proper amount of animosity, the actor, Sebastian Stan, sent Robert Downey Jr. a video.
It was a day before they filmed a big fight scene, and the video had Stan doing bicep curls with a decapitated Iron Man head in the frame. The attached message was “Looking forward to our scene tomorrow Robert.”
Featuring New Tech
In “The Avengers,” the huge Helicarriers that Shield uses run into a few problems thanks to all the super-powered freaks that are bouncing around inside. Iron Man himself had to get to work keeping the Helicarrier from smashing into the ground and doing lots and lots of damage, but he succeeded in keeping it aloft.
In “Captain America: Winter Soldier,” Nick Fury mentions they have some new tech from Stark that will keep them up better, a nod to that previous difficulty. They started using advanced repulsor technology, just like the Iron Man suits. Ironically, that movie saw a Helicarrier actually crash.
A Salad Friend
Robert Redford has a minor role in the MCU as Alexander Pierce, a bureaucrat in charge of SHIELD and a mole for HYDRA. He's a bad guy; let's go with that. At one point during his intro movie, “Captain America: Winter Soldier,” he opens up his fridge to grab a snack, and you can see a bottle of Newman's Own salad dressing.
It's a popular brand, so it's not that surprising, but there's more. Paul Newman and Robert Redford together starred in the incredible Western film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” a movie that shot both of them to stardom. Yet another little reference.
A Marriage That Will Never Happen
In the Marvel comics universe, there are several superhero power couples, but few of them have as much raw power as the union between Black Panther and the X-Men member Storm. However, the marriage eventually came to an end after Wakanda was attacked, and T'Challa realized that he needed to focus more on ruling than his marriage. Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why this will never happen in the MCU.
Not only are the X-Men owned by 20th Century Fox (though that is now a Disney property), but T'Challa's actor, Chadwick Boseman, suffered a sad early demise. Still, never say never.
Results May Vary
Anybody who was anybody wanted to be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movies were killer, the stars were rising, and there was a long road ahead for anybody that could get a role. Anthony Mackie was one of the many who was hoping to have a spot, which is why he sent a series of emails practically begging Marvel for a spot.
This ended up attracting the attention of Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, who brought him in for an audition. Mackie ended up nabbing the role of Sam Wilson, Falcon, who is still showing up in Marvel properties even after Endgame.
Moving Scenes Around
Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye has been part of the MCU since “Thor,” (albeit in a hidden manner). Some of the movies even feature Clint Barton's family. The opening scene of “Avengers: Endgame” is one of those scenes, but it's been moved around a bit. It was originally going to be part of “Avengers: Infinity War” during the finale – when people are getting snapped away.
It was determined since Hawkeye wasn't in the film previously, however, it wasn't the right place for the heartbreaking scene. So, it was added as the sequel's prologue to help reintroduce Hawkeye.
Not Everything Is Great
Almost everything that comes out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is at least good. Not everything gets unanimous glowing reviews, but most of it is at least positive. Not everything, though. The TV show “Inhumans” is a rare big miss for the company. It's widely hated by fans and critics alike, earning a mere 11% rating from critics.
The general public is a little more forgiving, giving it a 45% rating, but that's still rock-bottom when it comes to the MCU. It got one single season with only eight episodes. Just goes to show you that not even the best will have a spotless record.
The Weak Link
The Netflix/Marvel shows – “Daredevil,” “Luke Cage,” “Jessica Jones,” and “Iron Fist” – are generally well-liked, but the last of that bunch is by far the weakest. There was some weird writing, the overall plot was sloppy compared to the other three, and the fight choreography had big, big issues.
Being a martial arts show, you'd think they'd get it right, but Finn Jones (who played the title character) often had to learn the complicated choreography as little as fifteen minutes before the fights. No wonder it looked sloppy. It's hard to learn the lyrics to a song that fast, let alone a fight.
Too Busy Raiding
With German troops, alien artifacts, and super serums, “Captain America: The First Avenger” is a classic sci-fi movie. It also references another classic. At one point, when Red Skull finally has his hands on the Tesseract, he mentions that “the Fuhrer is too busy digging for trinkets in the desert.”
It doesn't take much to realize that this is a reference to “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark,” where the german soldiers are trying to reclaim the Ark of the Lord from the Old Testament. The Germans did actually put stock in magical superweapons like these – likely inspiration for both films.