Marvel’s Iron Man Credits Scene Almost Had A Snakes On A Plane Reference

"Iron Man" was released exactly 15 years ago today, meaning that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now a decade and a half hold. But rewinding the clocks to that fateful summer, nobody was using the words "cinematic universe" yet, and most of the superheroes that have dominated the blockbuster space for years nowhere near as well-known to the general public. But thanks to that famous post-credits scene with Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury wanting to talk to Tony Stark about the Avengers Initiative, it sure seemed like Marvel had it all planned from the start. Well, they didn't really know what was yet to come, and as evidence of that, Jackson very well could have just ended up making a "Snakes on a Plane" reference instead. Yes, really.

Inverse recently spoke with comic book legend Brian Michael Bendis, who actually wrote the now-legendary credits scene in "Iron Man." The writer explained that he "wrote every version of anything it could possibly be," letting Marvel decide where to take things while they were actually filming the scene. One of the options he provided? "Get that motherf***ing armor off your motherf***ing..." You get the idea. Mind you, "Snakes On a Plane" had only come out two years earlier, so it was still a timely enough reference. Bendis had this to say about the whole process:

"My memory is: Write everything you can think of. As delightful as that sounds, I stayed up all night. This was like a writer's puzzle. I wrote a couple pages down. I wrote every serious thing you can think of and every dumb thing you can think of."

The MCU Truly Had No Definitive Plan In The Beginning

It's pretty remarkable hearing this in hindsight. It's easy for us to think of the MCU now as a well-crafted, carefully planned behemoth that has generated billions at the box office. Yet it's clear that Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, in those early days, merely had ideas of where this all could go. In the beginning, there was no fully-formed grand plan like there is now. That "Avengers" tease could have just been a throwaway joke if "Captain America: The First Avengers" and "Thor" didn't hit at the box office too.

Bendis also shared some of the other possible lines that he provided director Jon Favreau and the folks at Marvel, including "Put down your armor," "Welcome to the Avengers," and "I'm here to shut you down. You're done. There's no Iron Man." Bendis, it seems, really was just throwing stuff at the wall to see what would stick. The writer also had this to say about the experience:

"It wasn't normal, where you have an assignment and them going, 'We need Nick Fury to get him to the Avengers.' That is not what they said. They said, 'Nick Fury is showing up. What should he say?'"

Fortunately, Bendis provided one pretty great option that helped tee up the ball for what would become "The Avengers" in 2012. From that point on, the rest is truly cinematic history.

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