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Kevin Feige Nearly Left Marvel Studios Due To Ike Perlmutter Not Allowing Diversity In The MCU

The Independent recently caught up with Mark Ruffalo, and while he was unable to shed any light on his future as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Hulk, he did drop a surprising revelation about Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. According to the actor, Marvel Entertainment CEO Isaac Perlmutter’s refusal to allow diverse faces in the MCU almost led to Feige leaving the studio. 

“That was the turning point for Marvel,” Ruffalo said of Feige’s fateful meeting with Disney which resulted in him being given full creative control over Marvel Studios. 

“Because Kevin wanted black superheroes, women superheroes, LGBT superheroes. He changed the whole Marvel universe. We now have gay superheroes, we have black superheroes, we have female superheroes – Scarlett Johansson has her movie coming out, we have Captain Marvel, they are doing She Hulk next. No other studio is being that forwardly inclusive on that level.”

It’s no secret that Feige frequently clashed with Perlmutter, whether it was over budgets, characters he wanted to push (the Inhumans, for example), or this clear lack of interest in diversity. Remember, the Marvel CEO is the one who said that kids wouldn’t want to buy action figures featuring the likeness of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and that War Machine could be recast because no one would notice.

Needless to say, we’re relieved that Feige didn’t walk away from Marvel Studios as it’s hard to imagine the Marvel Cinematic Universe being anywhere near as successful without him around! 

What do you guys think? 

Hit the “Next” button to take a look through some facts
you may not know about the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

Howard Stark/War Machine Was Nearly Iron Man’s Big Bad


Marvel spent years trying to get Iron Man off the ground and it was stuck in development hell for quite some time, hence why several different versions of the script exist (including one where Tony Stark would have had a talking toaster and been unable to fly). However, by far the strangest was set to involve Howard Stark, the Armoured Avenger’s father.

One early draft of Iron Man featured him being revealed as still being alive and he would have then served as the movie’s main villain, suiting up as War Machine to battle his son! That would have been quite the departure from the source material, but Iron Man did borrow a few elements from this version of the movie with the father/son dynamic between Tony and Obidiah Stane.

Gal Gadot Was Very Nearly Nebula

We know that Jason Momoa very nearly ended up being cast as Drax but Marvel being unwilling to pay him what he wanted resulted in Dave Bautista landing the role instead (plus, James Gunn has said that he preferred the former wrestler anyway).

Regardiess, it turns out that Gal Gadot also very nearly ended up in the MCU because she was offered the chance to play Nebula long before being cast as the DCEU’s Wonder Woman. That would have left the Justice League looking very different. 

The Wasp Was Supposed To Appear In The Avengers


While Hope Van Dyne finally suited up in Ant-Man and The Wasp, Janet was actually featured in an earlier draft of The Avengers. The character was initially included in the movie because Joss Whedon was unsure about Scarlett Johansson returning as Black Widow but the fact that he loves Janet Van Dyne also played a role in why she was included.

“There was a very Wasp-y draft that I wrote – but it was way too Wasp-y,” he’s since explained. “Because I was like, ‘She adorable! I’m just going to write her!'” How she would have factored into the movie is hard to say, but another reason she didn’t make the cut is because Marvel wanted to give Edgar Wright time to finish working on Ant-Man, hence why there was no Hank Pym/Scott Lang. 

Vin Diesel Gets A Special Guardians Of The Galaxy Script

While most fans initially suspected that Groot’s “I Am Groot” lines didn’t really mean much, writer and director James Gunn later revealed that he penned a special version of the script for Vin Diesel where all of the sentient tree’s lines were in English.

That obviously gives the actor a better understanding of what’s needed from him and it sounds like only he is actually privy to that particular information (along with the writers of the other movies the sentient tree has since appeared in, of course). 

The Week That Changed The MCU Forever

When Marvel Studios finally released an official timeline for the MCU, it was revealed that there was a surprising overlap between three big movies: Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, and Thor

It turns out that those all took place within the same week, meaning the public had to contend with Whiplash, The Hulk and Abomination, and The Destroyer at the same time, truly kicking off the Age of Heroes. As The Vision said in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the arrival of superheroes caused greater forces to also rise in a bid to combat them.

Yellowjacket’s Star Wars-Inspired Blasters

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is a huge Star Wars fan and he’s never shied away from including nods to that franchise in the MCU. However, one of the coolest is one you probably won’t have ever noticed and it came in Ant-Man. When Darren Cross suits up to battle Scott Lang, the blasters on his suit actually make the same noise as the AT-AT main gun in The Empire Strikes Back.

Awesome, right?

An Unexpected Reference To Spider-Man In Iron Man


During the mid-2000s, no one really knew what a “cinematic universe” was but a Batman v Superman movie had been on and off the table for years, while Sony at one point very nearly had Hugh Jackman make a cameo appearance as Wolverine in Spider-Man. However, it was Marvel Studios who came up with a clever way to connect Iron Man to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy.

An early draft of the Iron Man screenplay included a mention that Tony Stark played a role in helping to creator Doctor Octopus’ robotic arms, and while it’s never been revealed why this was scrapped, chances are that the poor performance of Spider-Man 3 played a role in the decision and Feige’s desire to make the Marvel Cinematic Universe its own separate entity under his control.

Some Sneaky Captain America Easter Eggs

You’ll no doubt recall seeing a prototype of Captain America’s shield in Tony’s lab in Iron Man 2 but did you catch these other nods to the hero before he debuted in The First Avenger

In a deleted scene from The Incredible Hulk, Cap and his shield can be seen frozen in a lake smashed up by the Jade Giant, while the bird’s eye view of the location where Thor’s hammer crashed to Earth also resembles the superhero’s iconic shield. 

An Indiana Jones Easter Egg Which Puts Him In The MCU

Well, sort of.

Way back in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, the Red Skull mentioned that the Führer was digging for “trinkets in the desert,” a line which was actually a cheeky nod to the events of both Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade. However, that’s resulted in a lot of speculation that Indiana Jones exists in the MCU, a great theory which would be fun to see pan out down the line.

However, we’d much rather see Harrison Ford join this shared world as a brand new character. 

A Big Spider-Man Retcon

You may recall seeing a kid at the Stark Expo in Iron Man 2 wearing an Iron Man mask who was very nearly blasted away by one of Whiplash’s drones before being saved by the real deal and it’s since been semi-confirmed that was actually a young Peter Parker! 

While this is obviously a retcon, it’s cool to think the youngster was probably there with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben long before becoming the wall-crawling hero and it further connects him to Tony Stark, adding even more depth to the friendship they developed over the course of Spidey’s MCU appearances.

Marvel Trolled Fans With Extra Long Credits In Iron Man 3


By the time Iron Man 3 rolled around, it’s fair to say that Marvel Studios knew they had us all eating out of palms of their hand. Having made B-List comic book characters into A-List movie stars and delivered the highest grossing superhero movie of all-time with The Avengers, they could do whatever they want (and did…just look at what happened to The Mandarin). 

The trolling didn’t stop there, though. Knowing that everyone would happily sit through the end credits for the after-credits scene, Marvel Studios stretched the credits themselves out to a full ten minutes. Now, you might think that’s just because a lot of people worked on the movie, but nope, look closely enough and you’ll see fake names like “Gwyneth Waltrow.” 

Oh, and the post-credits scene itself was actually Robert Downey Jr.’s idea! 

Paul Bettany Didn’t Work With Robert Downey Jr. Until 2015

Despite the fact that Paul Bettany has been playing J.A.R.V.I.S. since 2008 and also voiced Tony Stark’s robotic butler in Iron Man 2, The Avengers, and Iron Man 3, the first time he and Robert Downey Jr. worked together in person was 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.

While the actors had crossed paths at press events and the like, they’d never actually shared a set as Bettany recorded his lines last-minute so they would best fit with what we were seeing on screen. In fact, Bettany has described it as one of the easiest jobs he’s ever had but, as Vision, he’s obviously been a key part of the MCU ever since. 

Jeremy Renner Trained With Olympic Archers Before Playing Hawkeye


Poor old Hawkeye didn’t exactly have a very good time of it in The Avengers as he spent most of the movie under Loki’s mind control. However, he still make quite the impact by showing off some impressive archery skills, something actor Jeremy Renner went to great lengths to prepare for.

“I practised with Olympic archers, who gave me a few lessons,” he revealed around the time the movie was released. “I learned the basics and the proper positions and that really helped.” 

That alone would usually be an interesting enough factoid, but it doesn’t seem as if those lessons paid off. Following the release of the movie, archery aficionado Jim MacQuarrie told Wired that Hawkeye handles his bow “like a rank amateur.” He went on to say that he’s seen students who are new to archery make the same mistakes but Renner did only have a few lessons to be fair! 

Bruce Banner’s Suicide Attempt

In The Avengers, Bruce Banner mentions attempting to rid himself of The Hulk by committing suicide. It’s a pretty dark scene but what you may not be aware of is the fact that he was actually referencing a deleted scene from The Incredible Hulk. As he loads the gun and prepares to fire, the Green Goliath emerges and jumps away stopping Bruce from ending it all.

It’s here that we get the blink and you’ll miss it Captain America cameo we mentioned earlier in this post.

Tony Stark = Elon Musk

It’s no secret that Robert Downey Jr. based his Tony Stark on Howard Hughes but what you may not know is that he also took inspiration from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. 

As a way of paying homage to that, you’ll notice an unreleased Tesla Roadster in the hero’s garage in Iron Man, while Musk actually had a blink and you’ll miss it cameo in the sequel. There’s even an Iron Man statue outside SpaceX HQ!

Benedict Cumberbatch Had Two Roles In Doctor Strange

In a first for a superhero movie, Benedict Cumberbatch played both Doctor Strange’s hero and villain. As well as taking on the role of the Sorcerer Supreme, the British actor voiced and performed motion-capture for Dormammu, though you’d never guess from watching this sequence.

Marvel did a great job disguising that and this was also a nice metaphor for how Dormammu is essentially a twisted mirror image of Stephen Strange.

Tom Holland Found Out He Was Spider-Man…Via Instagram

Back in 2015, we were all glued to Marvel’s hunt for the new Spider-Man and it felt like all we were seeing were shortlists which kept getting longer…then shorter…then longer again! It was ultimately Tom Holland who won the role but it wasn’t until after he saw the news on Instagram in a post directing him to that he received a call from Kevin Feige confirming that he was Spidey. 

A Contender For That Big Guardians Of The Galaxy Easter Egg?

James Gunn has said on multiple occasions that Guardians of the Galaxy features a hidden Easter Egg and while this probably isn’t it, we’re willing to bet you missed it. 

In the scene where Peter Quill is kidnapped by Yondu and the Ravagers, he’s wearing a t-shirt which reads, “River Raft: J.D. Canoe Rentals Dolores River.” Well, that later returns and is worn by Bereet, the alien Star-Lord seduces, meaning he’s kept it all those years as a reminder of home. 

Stark/Mozart vs. Stane/Salieri

Iron Man was pretty much made up as Marvel went along, with no solid script in place when shooting began. However, proving that Jon Favreau put plenty of thought into what was happening on screen, the music Obadiah Stane plays when he tells Tony that he’s been locked out of Stark Industries is “Larghetto” by Antonio Salieri.

He was the bitter rival of Wolfgang Mozart and may have killed him so there was clearly plenty of thought going into what we saw on screen even if the production was more than a little hectic.

Different Lists For Different Countries

In The Winter Soldier, Steve Rogers can be seen carrying around a to-do list of sorts with all the things he needs to catch up since coming out of the ice.

However, depending on which country you live in, you’ll have seen different results. America got I Love Lucy and Steve Jobs, the UK got The Beatles and Sherlock Holmes, France got Daft Punk and The Fifth Element, and Australia got AC/DC and Steve Irwin! So, you’d best go import all those Blu-rays to make sure you have every version of this movie! 

Chris Evans Had To Hide His Beard In The Avengers’ Post-Credits Scene


Exclusive to American moviegoers, The Avengers featured an after-credits scene with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes treating themselves to some shawarma after that hard fought battle with Loki.

The whole thing was based off a line which was added to the movie at the last minute when Robert Downey Jr. suggested that Tony needed to wake up and say something a little more exciting than, “What’s next?” but the scene above wasn’t shot until TWO DAYS after the premiere! While it proved to be easy enough to get the rest of the cast back in their costumes, Chris Evans had a beard at the time, and was forced to wear a prosthetic which made it impossible for him to move his mouth.

That’s why we see him covering his face and not eating in the scene, and if you look closely enough, you’ll notice that Mark Ruffalo is struggling to hold back laughter as he looks at his understandably miserable co-star. 

Robert Downey Jr. Brought “I Love You, 3000” Into Avengers: Endgame


Following the poignant events of Avengers: Endgame, “I Love You, 3000” has really taken off among comic book fans and became synonymous with the movie following its release. 

However, this wasn’t something that was in the movie’s script. Instead, it’s something Robert Downey Jr. says to his own children and so he suggested that it be included here as well.

The Secret Behind Captain America’s Thor: The Dark World Cameo

Thor: The Dark World wasn’t a great movie but it did feature one of the MCU’s most memorable cameos when Loki transformed into Captain America to taunt his brother.

However, what you may not know is that Tom Hiddleston donned Chris Evans’ Captain America costume and acted the scene out, with Evans then watching that back and impersonating his performance to ensure it all lined up right. Footage of Hiddleston in the suit has since popped up online.

Robert Downey Jr. Improvised One Of The Avengers’ Best Lines

It was arguably The Avengers which played a key role in making humour such a pivotal part of the MCU and there were a lot of great one-liners throughout.

However, Robert Downey Jr.’s “That man is playing Galaga!” line was actually ad-libbed and writer/director Joss Whedon liked it so much that he later decided to add that shot of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent playing it on the monitor that was in front of him. As you may recall, this scene generated a lot of laughs at screenings and speaks to the actor’s comedic sensibilities. 

The Mask Was Supposed To “Cameo” In Captain Marvel


When Carol Danvers crashes into Blockbuster Video in her solo film, the hero blasts off Arnold Schwarzenegger’s head…well, a cardboard cutout version anyway! That’s something the actor reportedly agreed to but directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck actually wanted to use Jim Carrey as The Mask. 

“We really wanted it to be The Mask, because of the green head,” Boden explained last year. “The idea is that she thinks it’s a Skrull. We initially tried to get that but they wouldn’t clear it.”

Robert Downey Jr. Never Wears The Iron Man Armour

While Robert Downey Jr. did don Iron Man’s armour for the first movie back in 2008, it turns out that was the first and last time the actor suited up. That’s because the actor realised it simply wasn’t necessary to don the heavy outift after seeing what the VFX team could do so when you see Iron Man, it’s either a stuntman who’s wearing it, CGI, or Downey wearing a helmet and shoulder pads!

Dreams Do Come True

Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke were both students at the Yale School for Drama when The Avengers was released in 2012 and they actually went to see the movie together.

They left the theater hoping that they might one day get the opportunity to star in something similar. Well, years later, they appeared in Black Panther as Nakia and M’Baku, while Duke even got to star in Avengers: Infinity War shortly after and is now one of Hollywood’s hottest stars. 

J.A.R.V.I.S. Was Nearly Edwin Jarvis In Iron Man


Ahead of his transformation into The Vision, Paul Bettany’s J.A.R.V.I.S. quickly became a fan-favourite part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Iron Man’s snarky A.I. assistant. However, before Marvel decided to make Tony Stark and The Avengers’ loyal butler a computer programme, they did consider keeping him human just like in the comic books.

Ultimately, they didn’t head in that direction because they feared fans would make comparisons to the relationship between Batman and his loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth. That’s understandable, and Marvel would later introduce a human version of Jarvis in Agent Carter, a nod perhaps to Tony naming his A.I. after the man who played a role in raising him. 

One Of Thor: Ragnarok’s Funniest Lines Came From A Kid


Thor: Ragnarok is a very funny movie but the God of Thunder declaring “I know him! He’s a friend from work!” when he sees The Hulk in The Grandmaster’s arena wasn’t written by Taika Waititi or anyone else who worked on the Marvel Studios movie. 

Instead, a young boy visiting the set thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation who was there that day suggested that the God of Thunder should say something about the Green Goliath being a friend from work. Everyone loved it, it was filmed, and made it into the final cut of the movie. 

Over the past decade, the MCU has grossed over $22 billion at the worldwide box office and that makes it the highest-grossing movie franchise in history (yes, they’re all different characters but they exist within the same world).

Here’s where things get interesting, though; the MCU is extremely close to having earned more than the DCEU, Star Wars, and Transformers franchises combined! Honestly, it’s hard to imagine them ever being beaten at this point.

This content was originally published here.

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