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16 Behind-The-Scenes MCU Truths That Bring A Sense Of Surprise

The Avengers outperformed all predictions, helping to create the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the most successful film series in history. It wasn’t long before the studio cranked out blockbuster after smash, with 27 live-action features (with at least seven more on the pipeline) and six Disney+ shows as of April 2022. (with more on the way). It’s a large film franchise with a lot of long-term continuity. To be clear, each film/TV series has a lot going on. There’s so much going on that seeing it all on your first, fifth, or even 100th viewing is nearly impossible!

This is especially true when considering some of the events behind the scenes. The MCU has a lot going on that wasn’t disclosed until much later, and once you figure out what it is, you’ll want to go back and revisit the entire series. This article includes some of the most intriguing behind-the-scenes tidbits from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that will make you want to rewatch each phase! Take a peek below, and look at the 16 behind-the-scene MCU facts that bring a sense of surprise

1. Chris Evans Had Refused The Role Of Cap In ‘The First Avenger’ 3 Times

Source: Marvel Studio

It’s difficult to picture anybody else portraying Steve Rogers now, but Chris Evans almost didn’t get the job. After trying on the outfit, John Krasinski decided he wasn’t the greatest “fit” for playing the character. Evans was offered the part several times, but he turned it down.

Evans, like many others, suffers from anxiety, and he was concerned about the job’s influence on his life.

The position came with a six-movie agreement, which is significantly more than most film contracts require. An actor could sign on to a handful if they’re lucky, but the MCU is different.

Evans expressed his fears in a Twitter video in which he discussed his lifelong problem with anxiety and described how the commitment to such a huge number of films would have been tough for him to handle. He said it would be a ten-year commitment, which frightened him, so he passed.

2. Why Tony Stark Eats Burger King

Source: Marvel Studio

When Tony Stark returns to the United States after his adventure in Afghanistan in Iron Man, he requests a hamburger (instead of a hospital). Happy Hogan brings him a Burger King bag as he arrives for his press appearance, and he gleefully consumes the contents till the following scene.

The majority of folks undoubtedly assumed the BK bag and logo were merely product placement. However, this isn’t the case. Because BK is a particular favorite of Robert Downey Jr.’s, he wanted to utilize it for the moment.

Downey told the New York Daily News that he was once driving a car full of “tons of f*cking dope” when he decided to stop for a burger. He had an insight as he approached BK. As he told the New York Daily News, “I ordered a burger that was so horrible.

I drank that plus a large Coke, and I was afraid something terrible would happen.” Downey called it a “moment of clarity” when he threw all of his drugs into the water and chose to become sober. In Iron Man, eating a BK “American cheeseburger” was his method of saying “thank you” to the restaurant that saved his life.

3. Laurence Fishburne’s Son Plays The Younger Version

Source: Marvel Studio

Hank Pym storms into a conference room in the first Ant-Man film, enraged at S.H.I.E.L.D.’s attempts to find the secret of Pym Particles. Michael Douglas seems to be 30-40 years younger than he is when he first arrives.

The MCU has used cutting-edge digital de-aging methods to show older actors in flashback scenes in its films. Although it’s nothing new for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one aspect of Ant-Man and the Wasp was handled differently.

4. It Is The Product Of CGI

Source: Marvel Studio

You’d be excused for thinking this was done using computer graphics, but it wasn’t. Although this was the first time this talent was demonstrated on TV, getting Tom Holland’s arm hair to rise in such a way was a realistic feat. Nobody had a plasma globe or anything on hand to create the illusion; instead, someone was blowing off-camera into the actor’s ear. Sometimes the simplest answers are the most effective. The Russo brothers, Joe and Anthony, described how they pulled it off:

Joe Russo: We get asked this all the time. How did we get the hair on Tom Holland’s arm to stand up?

Anthony Russo: In our New York Times “Anatomy of This Scene,” we finally revealed… a lot of people think it’s a CG shot, but it was achieved by a very gentle blowing on Tom’s ear.

5. All Characters All Agreed with The Contract On To ‘No Way Home’ Without Seeing A Script

Source: Marvel Studio

Willem Dafoe subsequently stated why he chose to return and work on the film, stating that he had some requirements. In an interview with Mulderville, Dafoe stated why he chose the role:

To do this physical stuff was important to me. In fact, one of the first things I said to Jon [Watts] and Amy [Pascal], basically when they pitched it to me before there was even a script was, ”listen, I don’t want to just pop in there as a cameo or just fill in in close-ups. I want to do the action because that’s fun for me.”

He also added how he feels it is “really impossible to add integrity or any fun to the character” if the actor does not participate in the making. “Because all that action informs your relationships to the characters and the story. It makes you earn your right to play the character in a funny way.”

6. The Rooftop Scene In ‘No Way Home’ Shows A Ton Of Improv

Source: Marvel Studio

Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, screenwriters, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the many alterations they made to the screenplay to suit the three Spider-Man actors’ improvised parts. McKenna discussed the balcony scene and how the notion of the three characters being brothers came to fruition during production:

They showed up and we reworked all those scenes when they came on [with] the actors, the producers, and the director. We reworked the rooftop school scene and all that stuff, and there was so much fun improv of those guys. Andrew really leaned into the lonely middle brother.

That’s one of the things we started saying. “He is the middle brother!” You have the elder brother, Tobey, who is the wise one. The middle sibling thing, he feels like he’s not getting the other two’s attention. It works so great for that character. Andrew leaned into middle brother syndrome.

“The baby one is getting all the attention! What about me?” He’s obviously hurting. I think he has so many great flourishes. So does Tobey. I think that dynamic of brothers is so great when Andrew says, “God, I always wanted to have brothers.”

7. The Avengers Played ‘Boggle’ During Filming Breaks, And One Stunk

Source: Marvel Studio

While performing opposite Paul Rudd on Variety’s Actors on Actors: Actors on Actors: Actors on Actors: Actors on Actors: Actors on Actors: Actors on Actors: Actors on Actors: Actors on Actors: Actors on Actors: Actors on Actors: Actors on Actors: Actors on Actors: Actors on Actors

We were big into Boggle during the Marvel movies. And I’m going to tell you right now without fail, you could be playing with a group of 20 people. The person who will win is Paul Rudd; the person who will come in the nail-biting second is Don Cheadle. And Ruffalo would be way at the end. He’ll have two words on his whole list, but he got “asbestos.” How do you get “asbestos” on the Boggle board? It’s a real anomaly.

8. The Shawarma Scene Was Filmed After The Premiere

Source: Marvel Studio

Iron Man is roused to consciousness by the Hulk at the end of The Avengers, and not long after he awakens, he mentions a shawarma place he saw nearby. Cut to the film’s end, and the Avengers are seated around a table, eating shawarma. It’s a silly little moment, but it made an impression.

Shawarma sales soared following the film’s release, despite the fact that the scene didn’t exist until after the film’s debut.

9. Edward Norton Rewrote The Script Of ‘The Incredible Hulk’ During The Shoot

Source: Marvel Studio

Edward Norton is the type of actor that enjoys having as much creative influence as possible over his role.

When he was cast in The Incredible Hulk, this wasn’t a secret, and as producer Bob Yari described it, “if you’re hiring Norton for a role, you’re hiring Norton.” “You must be well-prepared. You’re not dealing with a performer who won’t have an opinion.” Norton’s contract gave him the authority to change the screenplay, which he did.

10. Tom Holland Went To High School Undercover While Training To Play Peter Parker

Source: Marvel Studio

Because Tom Holland plays Peter Parker, it’s easy to forget he’s not an American adolescent. Holland was born and raised in London, so attending an American high school was one of the ways he prepared for his part as Peter Parker.

Marvel Studios orchestrated the event with the support and collaboration of the Bronx High School of Science. The school was ideal for Peter Parker because it is one of the country’s top academic schools. Several Nobel Laureates, as well as Jon Favreau, attended the school over the years.

Holland agreed to observe a student pursuing a STEM degree as part of the pact. They worked it out with Arun Bishop, the robotics team’s captain. Bishop gladly consented, and Holland followed him about for a few days.

Holland had to go incognito throughout this period because it wasn’t advertised in any manner. He enrolled in school, talked with an American accent, and identified himself as Bishop’s cousin, Ben, to others.

11. James Gunn Recruited Chris Pratt For Star-Lord After Meeting Him 30 Seconds

Source: Marvel Studio

It’s not uncommon for a filmmaker like James Gunn to go out of his way to cast a certain actor as one of his characters. After all, he created the script for Guardians of the Galaxy, so he had strong feelings about who should play the characters in the film. It’s not unique in the MCU; Jon Favreau insisted on watching Robert Downey Jr. play Tony Stark in Iron Man.

Of course, for both performers, things were a little different. Because of RDJ’s prior issues, most producers saw dealing with him as dangerous, while Pratt was overweight and not in “superhero shape” for the character.

This made it impossible to visualize the actor partly, and many fans who recognized him from Parks and Recreation were astonished by his hiring.

12. Recording Pre-Serum Steve Required Four Shots For Each Scene

Source: Marvel Studio

When Steve Rogers was videotaped before acquiring the Super-Soldier Serum, he had to repeat the shoots four times. That’s not to suggest they were limited to four takes; rather, each shot required four flawless takes, implying that they had to nail a scene at least four times.

To place Chris Evans’ face onto the shorter body duplicate, Joe Johnston detailed how each shot had to be filmed:

“We shot each skinny Steve scene at least four times; once like a normal scene with Chris and his fellow actors in the scene, once with Chris alone in front of a green screen so his element could be reduced digitally, again with everyone in the scene but with Chris absent so that the shrunken Steve could be re-inserted into the scene, and finally with a body double mimicking Chris’s actions in case the second technique was required.”

13. J.K. Simmons Is Why JJJ Made It Into ‘Far From Home’

Source: Marvel Studio

At the very end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, one of the finest shocks was revealed. J. Jonah Jameson, everyone’s favorite publisher, emerged to disclose that Spider-Man was Peter Parker! He also blamed the high school student for Quinten Beck’s death, setting up the storyline for No Way Home.

While it was wonderful to see JJJ return to the MCU, it was made much better by the fact that he was once again played by J.K. Simmons.

Simmons nailed the part in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, so it was great to see him reprise it in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. No other performer could have played the part, as it turned out. Simmons said on the red carpet that he was surprised to be called back for the character, as he had assumed it would be recast for the MCU.

At the time, he had no idea that director Jon Watts would not have allowed anybody else to play the part in his film. Simmons received the call because of his unwavering approach.

14. Nick Fury’s Grandfather’s Story Hit Close To Home For Samuel L. Jackson

Source: Marvel Studio

Nick Fury and Captain America discuss preparing for the worst in a pivotal moment in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Fury uses the story of his grandfather to demonstrate his point of view. He reveals that he worked as an elevator operator and brought a sack of money and a revolver daily.

It’s an intriguing narrative that wonderfully encapsulates Fury’s point of view, but it also struck a personal chord with Samuel L. Jackson.

Jackson has commented about the incident, stating that it is eerily similar to his own grandfather’s memories. In an interview, he shared his memories of his grandpa, stating, “He worked as an elevator operator in a hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

That was his responsibility. I used to accompany him down to the elevator and sit in the elevator with him while he escorted others up and down. He was tipped in this manner and had cash in his pocket or bag.”

15. In ‘Iron Man 2,’ Ivan Vanko Lost A Tat that Connected Him To Another MCU Villain.

Source: Marvel Studio

Mickey Rourke had a lot of input when it came to developing the appearance of Ivan Vanko in Iron Man 2. Vanko became famous after spending $20,000 on gold dental caps and a bird, but that wasn’t the only thing he did to get famous.

Rourke also forced Vanko to have a lot of tattoos, and if you look closely, the man is completely covered in tattoos, with just a few bare areas on his skin.

Because the movie was filmed when the Marvel Cinematic Universe was still in creation, various post-production changes had to be made to minimize misunderstanding. Vanko had a tattoo of Loki, who wouldn’t appear in theaters until a year later in Thor.

Because Vanko was the main antagonist, it was assumed that a Loki tattoo on his neck would tie the two characters together. Of course, the studio was correct since several websites would have pointed out the probable link, thus his Loki tattoo had to be digitally erased to prevent this.

16. There’s A Ton Of Improv Because There Is No Finalized Script For ‘Iron Man’

Source: Marvel Studio

Iron Man had a rough start for the MCU, as it wasn’t managed as professionally as other film productions. When production began, the screenplay had not yet been finalized, which caused major issues for the cast and crew. In an interview with InContention, Jeff Bridges explained:

“They had no script, man. They had an outline. We would show up for big scenes every day, and we wouldn’t know what we were going to say. We would have to go into our trailer and work on this scene and call up writers on the phone, “You got any ideas?”

Meanwhile, the crew is tapping their foot on the stage waiting for us to come on.”

As a result, there are a lot of improvised sequences in the film. During rudimentary rehearsals, Robert Downey Jr. and Jeff Bridges would play out the sequences, exchanging personas to assist one another, and Bridges credits this with rescuing the production:

“You’ve got the suits from Marvel in the trailer with us saying, “No, you wouldn’t say that.” You would think with a $200 million movie, you’d have the sh*t together, but it was just the opposite. And the reason for that is because they get ahead of themselves.

They have a release date before the script, “Oh, we’ll have the script before that time,” and they don’t have their sh*t together.”

 

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