Oh, the ambitious cross-over events that could have been. Over the weekend, according to io9, Kevin Feige won the first Stan Lee World Builder Award at the Saturn Awards, and during his acceptance he unveiled a deleted post-credits scene from 2008’s Iron Man that would have really complicated that whole Sony/Marvel/Fox X-Men/Spider-Man MCU/no-MCU kerfuffle.
In it, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) all-but-namedrops the X-Men and Spider-Man, neither of whom Marvel had the rights to in 2008, when Iron Man came out.
“As if gamma accidents, radioactive bug bites, and assorted mutants weren’t enough, I have to deal with a spoiled brat who doesn’t play well with others and wants to keep all his toys to himself,” he says, before introducing himself and the Avengers Initiative.
This newly-released 'never-before-seen' deleted alternate scene from 2008's #IronMan reveals Nick Fury mentioning "radioactive bug bites" and "mutants" in his Avengers Initiative dialogue!
— MCU Direct (@MCU_Direct) September 14, 2019
We’re honestly pretty glad this didn’t make it into the final cut. Aside from all the legal issues involved, this would have had all sorts of interesting plot implications, including but not limited to:
- An adult Spider-Man (he would have to be, by the time Civil War rolls around)
- The original X-Men trilogy being canon and happening in the MCU time-line before Iron Man
- To be fair, this would justify “the Avengers” as a moniker way more, since there’s a LOT to avenge when you have Magneto and Phoenix roaming around (in the clip, when asked what they’re avenging, Fury simply replies, “whatever the hell we want”…which is, like, super vague).
- Alternately, in the timeline as it is, Captain Marvel could have been called in earlier; to stop Phoenix and Magneto in X-Men: The Last Stand.
- Tony would be just one more in a long line of superpowered headaches that Fury has to deal with, instead of the harbinger of a new age of heroes.
So, no Tom Holland. Professor X maybe-sorta-dead. The Last Stand as canon and the Avengers only formed to react to mutantkind… We’re happy with the MCU we did end up getting.
On the other hand, Wolverine could have been in the MCU from day one.