Marvel made a name for themselves with the deft use of post-credit sequences keeping butts in seats until the theater showing was over. But how far is too far?
Guardians of the Galaxy (and its upcoming sequel) may be hooked on a feeling, but apparently James Gunn is hooked on mid and post credit sequences.
Marvel did not pioneer the concept of having a bumper scene stuck on the end of a movie after the credits were over (or in the middle of the credits as an interruption). But With the famous “Shawarma eating” scene in The Avengers, they made it de rigueur for comic book movies to add them–especially ones that are set within a larger universe and have several variations of sequels to come. (It also gave Star Wars a way to differentiate itself from Disney’s first major “universe” style hit by insisting, rather old fashionedly, to have all the scenes from the movie during the actual movie.)
But these post credit sequences have a reason behind them. Take, for instance, Doctor Strange, the last Marvel Cinematic Universe to hit theaters prior to GotG 2’s arrival next month. There was one mid credit sequence and one post credit sequence. One was a scene previewing 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, which is the next movie Strange will have a cameo in.
The other was a twist ending that set up the villain for the inevitable sequel in Phase IV, Doctor Strange 2: Orientalism or Bust. Both of these movies are ones that the MCU has interest in keeping the audience in anticipation for, while tying in the events of this stand alone series to the larger framework.
It was therefore expected that Guardians would have multiple credit sequences post movie. There’s GotG3 to set up for, as Gunn has revealed this week he “always planned” for a trilogy and will be back to direct said third instalment. There’s also that this team will be part of the insanely overcast Avengers: Superheroes x Infinity slated for next year. As the last stand alone before folding them into the mix, there will probably be some sort of scene showing the Guardians meeting up with an Avenger or two.
Maybe, it was even hedged there would be a third one. Something just funny and playful, like the famous “Dancing Baby Groot” scene from the first movie. No it didn’t add anything plot wise, but it was adorable and delightful, and everyone talked about it afterwards.
But that was until last night, when critics were shown the early preview screening of Guardians 2. Reactions on Twitter were highly favorable….plus:
Four? Well actually…..
Five? So one was so brief everyone forgot it already! (Or it was held from the press screening, natch.) And obviously Gunn is having a little fun with the MCU’s habit of adding post credit sequences to their films.
But how many post credit sequences is too many? This isn’t a series of post credit sequences. This is bordering on another episode, “22 Short Films About Springfield” style. (Actually I would totally watch an entire movie of short sequences set in the Marvelverse, in the Pulp Fiction vein.) This is more scenes than credits. Not that most people care much about watching credits, but as Kermit the Frog once sagely noted “They all have families.”
So how many of the credit sequences will tie to upcoming films? And how many will just be viral moments of dancing plantlife? For that we’ll have to wait for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 to hit theaters, come May 5th.