The Marvel Cinematic Universe was built on mid- and post-credit scenes. That’s where some of the biggest, most shocking revelations came, linking what has become 22 movies and counting. And yet, fans who see the culmination of that story in Avengers: Endgame have been surprised to find out the credits this time serve the purpose of recognising the thousands of people who made the film, and nothing more. That’s what 11 years of conditioning will do.
Speaking to USA Today, the film’s directors Anthony and Joe Russo explained why they decided to break with MCU tradition and not add a scene during, or after, the credits.
“It was never in the cards,” Joe Russo said. “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.”
“This was the first Marvel movie we’ve done where we weren’t thinking about the future,” Anthony Russo added, referencing Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War, all of which they directed, and all of which had teases in the credits.
Of course, there is a future though: a Black Widow movie, The Eternals, and more from Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, and others. But the Russos, at the moment, have nothing to do with it.
However, fans who sit until the end of the credits do get to hear something. It’s the sound of Tony Stark building his first Iron Man suit, which the Russos put in there as a nod to what’s come before.
“It’s really just an homage, sort of a little bookend,” Joe Russo said. “It started it and it ends it.”
Not happy with that theory? After we published our Endgame spoiler post, a professor of chemistry from the University of Michigan, Dr. Brian P. Coppola, emailed io9 to suggest a slightly more complex theory.
He thinks the sound can be interpreted as Marvel’s way of teasing fans that the “next phase is under construction.” Even though the Russos basically debunk it here, that’s is a neat way to look at it.
Avengers: Endgame is now in theatres.