The alternate post-credits scene of Iron Man, which mentions Spider-Man and the X-Men, is evidence of how much has changed since the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1.
It has been 11 years since the release of Robert Downey Jr. and John Favreau and the inadvertently kicked off complete MCU. Shortly after the franchise’s culmination in the release of Avengers: Endgame, Marvel debuted a different cut from the now-famous Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) Stinger. It turns out that aside from doing the groundwork to introduce Earth’s most powerful heroes, mutants and web-slinging heroes were also tease-related.
Most of the Iron Man sets were improvised. While there was a general narrative layout in the movie, the nuances of it were polished while filming, giving Marvel Studios ample creative wiggling room to all those involved in its projects. This etiquette was extended to the iconic post-credits scene of Iron Man, which is further evidence with the existence of another variation.
The alternate Iron Man post-credits scene takes place as one that ends on the big screen, with only the dialogue tweaked. In it, Fury says “such as gamma accidents, radioactive bug bites, and mixed mutants were not enough” as he introduced himself to a new Out of Iron Man.
He was talking about Bruce Banner / Hulk, Spider-Man and the X-Men. But when Marvel Studios was able to trace the story of the green-res monster, the subsequent superheroes crossed the border assuming they were the owners of different companies – Sony Pictures Entertainment and 21st Century Fox. They were also qualities that existed in different universes then.
As it turns out, Brian Michael Bendis (who wrote the original Iron Man post-credits visual dialogue) was spitting out some ideas, as they were secretly filming Fury’s post-credits bit. Being a longtime comic book writer, Bendis was casually throwing possible scenarios out of comic books.
Since Marvel’s publishing arm doesn’t have to deal with complex character rights like the idea of its big-screen counterparts, Iron Man, Hulk, Spider-Man and the X-Men can easily be translated into a narrative – something that credits. The latter sequence is reflected in Bendis’ alternate version.
Fast forward to 2019 and alternate post-credits scenes of Iron Man with Spider-Man and X-Men are now more and more essentially present in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite some recent rough patches in their relationship, Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment were able to find a way to continue their existing partnership that allowed the former to use Peter Parker in their franchise.
Meanwhile, Fox’s acquisition of Disney, thanks to Mutants and even Fantastic Four, as well as all of their tie-in characters, will soon begin under the umbrella of the shared universe.