In Iron Man, we were introduced to the top secret organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) by two characters; Samuel J. Jackson's Nick Fury (in a post-credits scene) and the lesser known Agent Coulson.
Coulson was played by actor Clark Gregg and we know that he'll be back again for Iron Man 2 which debuts this May. What's really cool however, is that he'll also be playing a part in Thor which began filming last Monday.
We knew from the beginning that Nick Fury was going to be a key character to link all of the solo character films together, leading to the ambitious team-up film, The Avengers. Now, it appears that it's not just Fury doing the recruitment and that we may start seeing more S.H.I.E.L.D. stepping into the origins films of Thor and Captain America to sign them up.
I expect some more surprise visits in Thor as well as Iron Man 2 in the form of superhero cross-overs. It's still possible, despite denials, that Ed Norton could show up in Iron Man 2 which would be an epic moment for fans, to say the least.
I also believe we'll be seeing Roberty Downey Jr. pull off another cameo in Thor as he did with The Incredible Hulk. As I mentioned above, Thor began production last week and if you saw RDJ at yesterday's Golden Globe Awards, you no doubt noticed that he was sporting his Tony Stark facial hair.
Assuming Tony Stark is a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Iron Man 2, and that they recruit Scarlet Johansson's Black Widow character, the team is looking good already and I wouldn't be shocked to see them all in a scene in Thor.
When you think about it, Marvel Studios has been seeding threads that will lead to The Avengers perfectly and there's no way they won't take advantage of their poster boy and key marketing figure in Robert Downey Jr. in pushing their other films. From here on out, we will see the heroes here and there in each others' films. That is how it happens in the comics after all... and who knows that better than Marvel?
I'm excited to see what's in store for us from the cross-overs.
What do you think?
Iron Man 2 opens May 7, 2010, Thor opens May 5, 2011, The First Avenger: Captain America hits July 22, 2011 and The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012.