Ever since Samuel L. Jackson appeared at the tail-end of the credits for Iron Man to announce The Avengers Initiative and, with it, the formation of The Marvel Cinematic Universe, post-credit scenes have been a core part of the Marvel moviegoing experience. It’s no exaggeration to say that for some fans these scenes may trump the films themselves as a reason to head out to the theater on opening night: Maybe Thor isn’t your favorite Avenger, but maybe The Hulk is and you want to see if some news about his next adventure has been tacked onto the final reel.
So it’s not necessarily a surprise that Captain America: Civil War – possibly Marvel’s biggest movie yet – will be coming with a post-credits scene or two. However, what is somewhat unexpected is the news that Civil War could end up having three post-credit scenes, unlike previous Marvel Studio film releases (which have all had 1-2 post-credit scenes instead).
The information comes from a broadly-encompassing Forbes interview with Joe and Anthony Russo, the sibling director team that helped turn Captain America: The Winter Soldier into a box-office smash and are now tasked with Civil War and the two-part Avengers: Infinity War crossover set to eventually close-out the first decade of the MCU. While they don’t outright confirm a plus-size post-credits haul, Joe Russo is the first to raise the possibility while a question about whether or not Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) will appear in at least one of them:
“We can’t say who is going to be in it but we can say that there certainly could be one, or two, maybe three. We can confirm that you should stay sat in your seats when the movie is done.”
While three post-credits scenes (perhaps spaced-out to hit at the beginning, middle and end of the credits themselves) would be new territory even for the famously teaser-happy Marvel Studios, it makes a certain amount of sense given the nature of Captain America: Civil War’s sprawling narrative and large cast of characters. The original Civil War comic series ended with Captain America becoming a prisoner of the U.S. Government and eventually killed by an assassin in the next subsequent issue of his own book, and many fans expect a version of that ending to carry over into the film. If so, it would make sense for at least one post-credits scene to further address that fate – possibly with The Winter Soldier himself, Bucky Barnes, taking up the Captain America mantle as he did in the comics.
Additionally, unlike previous “solo” films released between Avengers sequels, Civil War features nearly the entire lineup of The Avengers themselves in supporting roles – so it’s also very much within the realm of possibility that, with the events of the film set to change everyone’s status-quo dramatically, a post-credit scene could be devoted to showing where one or more of these guest stars will be heading next. Additionally, Spider-Man and Black Panther are making their first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe here before heading off into already in-production solo adventures of their own, so it would make just as much sense for an extra scene or two to follow-up with them as well.
However, it’s also possible for a post-credit scene to be largely-unrelated to the preceding film itself: Iron Man 2 ended with the discover of Thor’s hammer and Ant-Man teased a scene from Civil War that only vaguely alluded to its title character. Doctor Strange is indeed the next Marvel movie pending, and while the character isn’t part of Civil War’s superhero-infighting (that we know of) a post-credit beat would be a logical place to introduce audiences to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange. On the other hand, one question that’s sure to come up in the film given the storyline is the whereabouts of The Avengers’ most unquestionably destructive member, The Hulk; and fans already know he’s set to eventually meet up with his buddy the God of Thunder for Thor: Ragnarok, a post-credit scene here would be one way to tell fans how he gets there. Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is also possibility for a tease, though given that its heroes’ exploits are still very disconnected from the Earthbound Avengers that seems less likely.
Anthony & Joe Russo are directing with Kevin Feige producing. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee are the executive producers. The screenplay is by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. Get ready to pick a side and join the nonstop action playing out on two fronts when Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War opens in U.S. theaters on May 6, 2016.
Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018;Ant-Man and the Wasp– July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans– July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.