The First ‘Iron Man’ Almost Introduced Spider-Man And The X-Men Into The MCU
Prior to the massive success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans largely wondered how Marvel Studios planned on launching a successful franchise based on their B-characters.
While Robert Downey Jr. has since turned the character into a certified A-list star, prior to the actor’s iconic run as the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist, Iron Man was not necessarily considered bankable.
As we now know, Marvel Studios successfully built the biggest franchise in the history of movies without some of their most iconic characters, particularly, the X-Men and Spider-Man, who were already massive box office successes with their respective studios, Fox and Sony.
And yet, despite not having the film rights to these iconic characters, Marvel Studios was obviously confident in their franchise plan regardless, as a deleted post-credit scene from the original Iron Man makes reference to both the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and the mutants of the X-Men.
In a never-before-seen deleted post-credit scene that was revealed by MCU mastermind producer Kevin Feige at the Saturn Awards over the weekend, Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury is seen talking to Downey Jr’s Tony Stark about the “Avengers Initiative”, only in this version, Fury makes reference to “assorted mutants” and “radioactive bug bites”:
As Feige does not explain why this version what ultimately cut, we can only speculate as to why Marvel Studios decided not to tease some of their most famous characters.
With a 2008 release, Iron Man was likely shot in 2007, which was a year after X-Men: The Last Stand and the same year as Spider-Man 3. Despite both films ending up as massive disappointments, Fox and Sony would re-up on the characters regardless, as X-Men: First Class would breathe new life into the franchise in 2011, while Sony’s Andrew Garfield-starring The Amazing Spider-Man would do the exact opposite.
While Marvel was able to work out a deal with Sony to introduce Spider-Man into the MCU in Captain America: Civil War, that agreement has since fallen apart, with Tom Holland’s version of Spidey set to return to the control of Disney. Meanwhile, the X-Men are expected to make their MCU debut in the coming years following Disney’s massive acquisition of Fox.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Contact him: email@example.com.