It's a well-known fact that when it comes to Marvel movies, you just don't leave the cinema until all the credits have rolled.
Marvel has made it a tradition to include a short post-credit scene after every movie, and like the Stan Lee cameos that also appear in each film, it's something that fans look forward to with every new installment in the MCU. Previous scenes have included hints of what's to come (like Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver), or simply provided comic relief and a little something extra (dancing Groot!).
The post-credit scene is fun, but for me, it's also a nice way to ensure that I'm not alone in the theater waiting for the credits to roll - being one of those movie-goers who likes to watch the entire credits as a mark of respect for all the people who were involved in creating the hours of entertainment I just enjoyed.
However, according to Joss Whedon, the latest addition to the MCU will not be capped off with a post-credit scene. At all.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Whedon has made it clear that although there will be a small "tag" at the end of the film, there will be nothing at the very end.
There will be a tag, but there’s not a post-post-credit scene. There is nothing at the very end. And that’s not a fake-out. We want people to know so they don’t sit there for 10 minutes and then go: ‘Son of a bitch! I’ll kill them!’
Noble as his intentions to save fans the frustration may be, I still think that Marvel fans will be waiting till the end - just in case. After all, the movie industry is full of fake outs and misdirection, and no one wants to be that fan - the one who saw Avengers: Age of Ultron in the opening nights, and left before the final scene.
According to Whedon, they are breaking with tradition for this movie because they just couldn't come up with a post-credit scene to top the ones that came before.
The first rule of making a sequel is take the best moments and do something else. Don’t do the Indiana Jones gun trick again differently. Just go somewhere else. Don’t try to hit the same highs, because people will sense it.
He's got a point there - after all, no-one wants to see a scene that falls flat or feels forced. Marvel has reached the success that it has because it continues to innovate, and I can understand their desire not to get bogged down in tradition for the sake of tradition. However, I also find it a little hard to believe that the creative minds at the studio just couldn't come up with a few seconds to tack on the end that the fans would love. I just don't buy the idea that they couldn't pull together a single minute of humor for the end.
Then again, Whedon claims that the schwarma scene is just un-toppable, and who are we to argue with him?
The evolution of the shawarma scene is one of the most fascinating things in my career.
Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters on May 1st, 2015 - with or without a post-credit scene.