You can always expect an end-credits scene after a Marvel movie, but for their next film it may be worth skipping: perhaps Avengers: Infinity War shouldn't have a post-credits scene.
It's true that Marvel Studios didn't invent the post-credits scene, but they've made it their own. Iron Man's stinger was really the launchpad for the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe; it featured Samuel Jackson's Nick Fury introducing Tony Stark (and viewers) to "a bigger universe." That was really the moment the journey to Avengers: Infinity War began, and it's appropriate that the journey has continued on through the end-credits sequences: The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and even Thor: Ragnarok featured post-credits scenes establishing the importance of Thanos.
Over the course of the last decade, the MCU has become synonymous with both mid- and end-credits sequences. By 2016, when director Zack Snyder considered adding an end-credits scene to DC Film's Batman v Superman, he balked because he considered them too strongly associated with Marvel. Last year, Marvel set a record when they released Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, featuring no less than five post-credits scenes.
Right now, little is known about Avengers: Infinity War; in fact, Marvel's secrecy is unprecedented. But surely a post-credits scene is one of the few certainties? This is the 10-year anniversary of the MCU, and a cause for both recollective celebrations and looking into the future, something an end-credits scene is perfect for. However, for ultimate shock value, perhaps Marvel should break from formula.
Why Infinity War Shouldn't Have A Post-Credits Scene
Infinity War is a different kind of Marvel movie. This is the 10-year anniversary of the shared universe, the climax of everything Marvel has been building up to for the last decade. It's the beginning of some sort of "end" for the MCU. Where the post-credits scenes are all about establishing the connective tissues between the movies, Infinity War is already doing that by its existence. This, after all, is the film everything has been building up to. Should it be teasing the future?
Indeed, there's only one film Infinity War could directly lead into: Avengers 4. However, considering how secretive that next team-up is - the title won't be revealed until long after Infinity War has passed - it feels against Marvel's current tactic to have a scene teasing what's next. As strange as it sounds, if Marvel really wants to have a dramatic launchpad moment at the end of the film, perhaps the best they could do is close Infinity War with a simple statement "The Avengers Will Return...".
After all, that return could be a big enough tease. When Marvel first announced Infinity War, it was as a two-part event. Those plans changed, with the two Avengers movies given different titles, although they're still clearly closely-linked. So much so that many fans believe Infinity War will end with a cliffhanger setting up its second part; a popular fan-theory is that the movie will come to a close with Thanos, triumphant, wielding the power of the Infinity Gauntlet - and snapping his fingers. In reality, it's unclear whether or not Infinity War will end like this. The snapping of Thanos's fingers has been teased a lot in the trailers and TV spots, and it's worth stating that the moment from Jim Starlin's Infinity Gauntlet that inspires it happens midway through #1 - hardly a cliffhanger (Infinity War seems to borrow heavily from Jonathan Hickman's Infinity event rather than Starlin's anyway).
But the idea can't be ruled out - with the Infinity Gauntlet in play, pretty much anything is possible - and if Infinity War does end on a cliffhanger that leaves the fate of the Avengers or the entire MCU up in the air (remember that the next two films are set before Avengers 3), the case for no post-credits scene is obvious; it maintains the shock. If the movie's plot is so surprising the directors are asking fans not to spoil it, a tease risks unraveling whatever's in store immediately.
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019