Marvel has mastered the post-credits game since 2008, with Nick Fury dropping by Tony Stark's pad to discuss the possibility of a super secret boyband. The studio has such a hold on these types of scenes that it has, from time to time, taken the liberty to include more light-hearted moments, such as in Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: Civil War.
Even with all those successes, though, perhaps the scene that put Marvel's post-credits scene game on the map was in 2012's #TheAvengers. After the fierce and heart-stopping battle of New York, we got to see our heroes celebrating by eating shawarma in a destroyed shawarma joint. It was a hilarious moment that stood out due to its sheer simplicity and the fact it was a callback to an earlier, seemingly nonsensical line of Tony Stark's. The scene almost immediately cemented itself in pop culture history.
But...how exactly did it come together? So far, we've gotten bits and pieces to answer that question, mainly the short timeframe the studio had to finish it. But now, #KevinFeige has finally given us an in-depth walkthrough of its intricate and hilarious background.
During an appearance in the Maltin on Movies podcast, the producer extraordinaire began by revealing how the scene came about based on his desire to see the team in a more relaxed setting, in order to contrast it with the world-saving shenanigans:
"We used to talk about, as I was saying earlier, the fun of the characters. We used to talk about the Avengers just riding a bus together, or the Avengers all sitting around at a dinner table together. And they are around a table on a Helicarrier briefly in the movie but we never quite have done... something about these spectacular, extraordinary people doing the most mundane thing possible."
But where did the idea to put them in a restaurant came from? To the surprise of no one, from #JossWhedon himself:
"I think Joss said 'we should've had them eating shawarma at the end. Just all exhausted' and [...] I said, 'of course, we have to do that'.
Unfortunately for the hard-working team, the right time to put that together had seemingly come and gone. However, in true Marvel fashion of overcoming adversity, that didn't discourage them from putting the gag together:
"The thought was 'well, you can't get all of them together now' [...] we had the idea too late. And then executive producer Jeremy Latch went to [...] Jonathan Schwartz, and said [...] 'The premiere is going to be at the El Capitan. Get a map and find every shawarma restaurant in a two-block radius of the El Capitan [...] He takes all these pictures, comes back, and says 'Joss, take a look, choose which location do you want', and he looks and goes, 'For the shawarma scene?' He said, "You guys are crazy! Can we actually do that?'"
So what about the bananas scheduling needed to pull this off, including actors, set and filming crew, you impatiently ask?
"Well, we're doing the premiere, then we're doing the junkets, the only time all the actors will be together again. We can go get a van, take them from the junket, get in costume, go to this shawarma restaurant - It's only one shot - shoot it, and have it. And I called Robert first and said, 'Robert, we have this idea to go from the junket to shooting and you're just there eating shawarma,' and he goes, 'Well, that's so crazy we have to do it.'"
In the actual scene, if you take a closer look, you'll notice that #ChrisEvans is resting his face on his star-spangled fist. Well, that's a sign of yet another challenge Marvel had to face to make this scene. Evans had already grown a beard at that point and the prosthetic face put on him to cover the beard was, according to Feige, "horrific":
"Chris Evans has a giant beard as he often grows for other films in between [Marvel] movies [...] So we put this prosthetic face on him that looked horrific, which is why if you watch the scene again, he's covering his face."
After that, the toughest part was finally over. But the team still had to go full-throttle to get the scene ready to include it in the film as soon as possible:
"Then a handful of us and our editor Jeff Ford sat in the back of the camera truck choosing the exact 7 seconds, 10 seconds we wanted to use, because it had to go right to the mix stage and right into the prints."
After editing the footage (right below a giant Avengers billboard, might I add) one of the most memorable scenes in modern movie history was born.
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Marvel has always distinguished itself thanks to its commitment to its products. It is, after all, the studio that put superhero movies at the forefront of our modern pop culture. People like Kevin Feige are always looking for something new to add to the genre. As the producer revealed during the podcast:
"That's another one of those slightly dangerous but true lessons, and a big belief system for us at Marvel Studios, which is: If there's a good idea you have to figure out a way [to] make it happen."
This quirky little anecdote is further proof of #Marvel Studios' drive to make things not only different but better. Feige and company could have just left the movie as it was, but they went the extra mile to give us a product that stood out. Stay awesome, Marvel.
Which MCU film contains your favorite post-credits scene?