During the Thor 2 junket in London, we took the developments of these two aforementioned “Button scenes” straight to the only person who could confirm their significance – i.e., Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige. We already published some of our talk with Feige – but now, having seen the film yourself (or not caring about spoilers) you can read (in full) what he had to say about the revelation of the Infinity Stones, and how they will define future Marvel movies currently in the pipeline – starting with Guardians of the Galaxy.

Check out what the Marvel Studios prez had to say when I asked him, point blank, if the Thor 2 mid-credits sequence – and the color-coding of the powerful objects featured in The Avengers, Thor 2 AND Guardians – was clear indication of a lead up to an Infinity Gauntlet War:

Kevin Feige: I don’t know that I would spell it out that clearly, necessarily, but certainly fans of the comics could surmise that all of this is leading somewhere. That Joss’ decision to have Thanos turn around and smile to the audience at the end of ‘Avengers’ – it was always the plan to show that the tesseract was indeed an infinity stone, as was the Aether. A lot of that will tie first into ‘Guardians of The Galaxy’ which comes out next year and then where it goes from there we’ll see… I would not necessarily attribute them based on colors, because you’re close but you’re not 100% right on what each one is. …[but] yes, the MacGuffin of ‘Guardians’ certainly plays into MacGuffins from the past.

“MacGuffins” are objects in a story that the characters are all chasing after or trying to obtain, and usually those objects are incidental in and of themselves – but not so much in the Marvel Movie Universe. The Tesseract, The Aether, that upcoming Guardians device – these objects all have importance, and will likely turn up again when Thanos finally steps out of the shadows.

Marvel Cosmic Universe Movies Thor 2 Mid & Post Credits Scenes Explained: What They Reveal About Future Marvel Movies

The ramifications of this reveal are even further reaching: Feige confirmed that having Infinity Stones (they’re referred to as “stones” in the film, not “gems,” folks) as a so-called breadcrumb trail along the road makes it far easier to justify the introduction of more fantastical film properties like Doctor Strange and The Inhumans, as the mystical powers of each stone could be used to empower such heroes (Doc Strange powered by a soul stone, for example). But is that direction Marvel is going in? We may find out soon:

Kevin Feige: Well we’ll see it won’t be until probably sometime next year before we announce the 2016 movies and the 2017 movies and a lot of that will depend on the reception to the next batch of movies. What we’re actively working on is Thor’s next appearance in ‘Age of Ultron’ – where he goes beyond that we have a lot of ideas. You’re right that where we leave the characters in this movie sort of hints what could happen in the future but we’ll see where that goes after ‘Avengers 2.’

While the exact details of the cosmic storyline are still in flux, however, the Dark World post-credits scene with Thor on Earth has deftly set up the character’s re-introduction in Avengers: Age of Ultron. With a pledge to protect Earth, Jane under his arm, and Loki ruling Asgard (with no help coming from on high), we won’t have to suffer another vague explanation of how Thor comes to earth, and why he does so alone.

SEE ALSO: Thanos in Guardians of the GalaxyAvengers 2

Thor: The Dark World will be in US theaters on November 8, 2013; Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014; Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015; Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

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