In its build-up to The Avengers, Marvel trained audiences to stay in their seats for a post-credits capper. The ending “button scenes” were necessary to link all the films together before Avengers came around – but now that the heroes have finally teamed up, will Marvel maintain the tradition?

Says Marvel President Kevin Feige, the answer is: Probably. But not because the franchise itself demands the post-credits button scenes—it’s because fans do.

Said Feige at a press day for Iron Man 3:

“I don’t want to be in that theater for the first time when even two people stay behind and nothing happens, frankly. I like that we’ve trained at least some people to stay behind and get a little reward, but you’re absolutely right it served a different purpose—it was a part of the, ‘Hey, surprise! These are connected. We’re building towards something here.'”

Originally, the plan was to scrap the post-credits scenes starting with The Avengers, which infamously shot its shawarma bit after the film’s premiere “just because we thought it would be fun,” said Feige. “There was not going to be a tag until that point.”

His argument for wanting to cut them makes sense, even as he admits the studio will likely maintain the tradition. “Frankly, the whole purpose of Iron Man 3 is to say that these characters can exist just as successfully on their own again,” said Feige. “But, as I said – I don’t want to be there when nothing happens after people sit through eight minutes of credits.”

Bruce Banner and Tony Stark in ‘The Avengers’

As for having the characters reassert their individuality now that Tony Stark has his own posse of super-friends, what’s to keep him from, say, calling up Hulk when the Mandarin proves to be a tough rival? Answered Feige:

“If you’re reading a standalone Iron Man comic, they don’t spend every page explaining where every other Marvel hero is. The audience kind of accepts that there are times when they’re on their own and there are times when they are together. I’m betting that movie audiences will feel the same way. That being said, there is a little bit of lip service here and there to that.”

So if Feige’s challenge for the first films was to tie the franchise together, now he’s got to find the right distance to give each character space to reign over their own movie, while still building toward Avengers 2. And with fans now friendly with each superhero, do they want to see post-credits sequences that push toward plot-points in the sequel, or a simple shawarma-esque reunion with the gang goofing-off?

Let us know your “button scene” hopes in the comments.

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Iron Man 3 will be in theaters on May 3, 2013.

Header Image Source: Francois Duhamel. 2010 MVLFFLLC. TM & 2010 Marvel.