The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a shared fictional universe that is the setting of superhero film independently developed by Marvel Studios, based on characters published in Marvel Comics. The setting is much like the Marvel Universe in comic books. The universe was established by crossing over shared plot elements, settings, cast, and characters. Five films set in this shared universe have been released theatrically: Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk in 2008, Iron Man 2 in 2010, and Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011. An additional three planned films are in various stages of production : The Avengers is in post-production, and Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 are in pre-production.
In 2005, Variety reported that Marvel Studios would start producing its own films and distribute them through Paramount Pictures. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige in 2009 initially referred to the shared narrative continuity of these films as the "Marvel Cinema Universe", but later used the term "Marvel Cinematic Universe". Some of the upcoming films will be distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, a division of Marvel Entertainment's parent corporation, The Walt Disney Company. The funding will come from a seven-year, $525 million revolving credit facility with Merrill Lynch.
Iron Man, Marvel Studios' first self-produced film, was released in May 2008. The film ended with a post-credits scene featuring Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. Director Jon Favreau said that he included the scene because, "We wanted something for the fans" and detailed how the scene was made. "I turned to [Marvel Studios President] Kevin Feige and said, 'You know what would blow their minds? Should we do this?' Kevin was like, 'Let's try.' And then we actually pulled it together. It was just a little scene, just a little tip of the hat for the fans that we were paying attention to what had been established, and a way to sort of tee up The Avengers. We brought [Jackson] in on a secret day of shooting, we had a skeleton crew so that the secret wouldn't get out". Captain America's shield was also visible in the film. Favreau explained the shield's origin, stating, "An ILM artist put it in there as a joke to us for our cineSync sessions, when we're approving visual effects. They got a laugh out of it, and I said, 'Leave it in, that's pretty cool — let's see if anybody sees it'".
Fiege said in April 2010 that constructing a "Marvel Film Universe" "is daunting but it's fun. It's never been done before and that's kind of the spirit everybody's taking it in. The other filmmakers aren't used to getting actors from other movies that other filmmakers have cast, certain plot lines that are connected or certain locations that are connected, but I think ... everyone was on board for it and thinks that it's fun. Primarily because we've always remained consistent saying that the movie that we are making comes first. All of the connective tissue, all of that stuff is fun and is going to be very important if you want it to be. If the fans want to look further and find connections, then they're there. There are a few big ones obviously, that hopefully the mainstream audience will able to follow as well. But ... the reason that all the filmmakers are on board is that their movies need to stand on their own. They need to have a fresh vision, a unique tone, and the fact that they can interconnect if you want to follow those breadcrumbs is a bonus".
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Official Site: Marvel Studios
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