Behind-The-Scenes MCU Facts That Enhance Even Our 100th Viewing

List Rules
Vote up the facts that made you say, 'Whoa.'

The Marvel Cinematic Universe began in 2008 with Iron Man, and for the next few years, it seemed as if Marvel Studios was trying things out to see what worked. Gradually, the studio built up enough characters for a movie featuring all of them, and in 2012, Marvel's The Avengers hit theaters to widespread critical acclaim. The MCU proved it could be done - a single movie featuring six major stars playing incredibly important characters could work, and it made the studio a lot of money.

The Avengers exceeded all expectations, helping make the MCU into the most successful film franchise of all time. It wasn't long before the studio cranked out hit after hit, and as of April 2022, there have been 27 live-action films (with at least seven on the way) and six Disney+ series (with more on the way). It's a massive film franchise with long-term continuity spread throughout. To be clear, there's a lot going on in each film/TV series. In fact, there's so much going on that it's next to impossible to see all of it on your first, fifth, or even 100th viewing!

That's especially true when you're looking at some of the things that happened behind the scenes. The MCU certainly has a lot going on that wasn't revealed until much later, and when you find out what those things are, you're going to want to go back and rewatch the whole franchise. This list compiles some of the most fascinating behind-the-scenes facts from the MCU that'll make you want to sit through each phase all over again! Take a look down below, and don't forget to upvote your favorites before heading back to the couch to chill with your favorite characters for several days.


  • 1
    101 VOTES

    There's A Reason Tony Stark Eats Burger King In 'Iron Man'

    In Iron Man, when Tony Stark returns to the States after his ordeal in Afghanistan, he asks for a hamburger (instead of a hospital). When he arrives for his press conference, Happy Hogan hands him a Burger King bag, and he happily eats its contents through to the next scene. Most people probably saw the BK bag and logo and thought it was simply product placement, but that's not the case. Robert Downey Jr. wanted to use BK for the scene because the restaurant personally means a lot to him.

    In an interview with the New York Daily News, Downey said he was once driving a car with "tons of f*cking dope" and decided to stop off for a burger. He pulled into BK and had an epiphany. As he explained to the Daily News, "It was such a disgusting burger I ordered. I had that, and this big soda, and I thought something really bad was going to happen." Calling it a moment of clarity, Downey tossed all of his substances into the ocean and decided to get sober. Having an "American cheeseburger" from BK in Iron Man was his way of saying "thanks" to the restaurant that saved his life.

  • 2
    73 VOTES

    The Players All Signed On To 'No Way Home' Without Seeing A Script

    To make Spider-Man: No Way Home work, a lot of pieces had to come together. For one thing, the studio had to get a lot of actors to sign on to the project, and they had to do it long before the script was finalized. In most cases, all that could be delivered was a pitch, and even that wasn't a fully realized concept. 

    Getting Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire on board wasn't too difficult, and it wasn't all that hard to get the villains on board, either. Garfield and Maguire had "secretly" signed on to the project by December 2020. It wasn't long before Jamie Foxx, Willem Dafoe, Rhys Ifans, Thomas Haden Church, and Alfred Molina agreed to reprise their roles.

    Willem Dafoe later explained why he agreed to come back and make the movie, indicating he had some conditions. Dafoe explained why he decided to take the role in an interview with Mulderville:

    To do this physical stuff was important to me. In fact, one of the first things I said to Jon [Watts] and Amy [Pascal], basically when they pitched it to me before there was even a script was, ''listen, I don't want to just pop in there as a cameo or just fill in in close-ups. I want to do the action because that's fun for me." He also added how he feels it is "really impossible to add integrity or any fun to the character" if the actor does not participate in the making. "Because all of that action stuff informs your relationships to the characters and the story. It makes you earn your right to play the character, in a funny way."

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    53 VOTES

    Filming Pre-Serum Steve In 'The First Avenger' Required Four Shots For Every Scene

    Movies often require actors to go through the same scene multiple times to ensure the best take makes its way into the final product. It's just one of those things every actor knows and understands, but things can be different when it comes to the use of special effects. It may be necessary to shoot a particular scene multiple times, but not in order to get the best take. For effects shots, it's done to capture everything necessary to make it all work.

    Whenever Steve Rogers was filmed before receiving the Super-Soldier Serum, those shots had to be done four times. That's not to say they were limited to four takes; rather, each shot required four perfect takes, so it essentially means they had to nail a scene four times minimum. Joe Johnston explained how each scene had to be filmed to insert Chris Evans's face onto the shorter body double:   

    We shot each skinny Steve scene at least four times; once like a normal scene with Chris and his fellow actors in the scene, once with Chris alone in front of a green screen so his element could be reduced digitally, again with everyone in the scene but with Chris absent so that the shrunken Steve could be re-inserted into the scene, and finally with a body double mimicking Chris's actions in case the second technique was required.

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    46 VOTES

    J.K. Simmons Is The Only Reason JJJ Made It Into 'Far From Home'

    One of the best surprises in Spider-Man: Far From Home came at the very end. Everyone's favorite publisher, J. Jonah Jameson, appeared to reveal that Spider-Man was Peter Parker! He also laid the blame for Quinten Beck's demise on the high school student, setting up the plot for No Way Home. While it was great to see a beloved character like JJJ in the MCU, it was made all the better by the fact that, once again, he was played by J.K. Simmons.

    Simmons played the role to cinematic perfection throughout Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, so it was a treat to see him back at it again in the MCU. As it happens, there wasn't another actor who could have appeared in the role. In a red carpet appearance, Simmons admitted he was shocked to be asked back for the role, as he believed it would be recast for the MCU. What he didn't know at the time was that director Jon Watts wouldn't have let anyone else appear in the role in his movie. He was steadfast in that attitude, so Simmons got the call.

    Watts explained his thinking in an interview with Polygon, saying, "We thought if we're going to have J. Jonah Jameson, it had to be J.K. Simmons... There was never any discussion about it being anyone else because it just wouldn't have felt right."

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    41 VOTES

    James Gunn Knew Chris Pratt Was Star-Lord 30 Seconds After Meeting Him

    It's not uncommon for a director like James Gunn to go above and beyond to hire a particular star to portray one of his characters. After all, he wrote the Guardians of the Galaxy script, so he had strong opinions on who should play the characters in the movie. Similarly, Jon Favreau insisted on seeing Robert Downey Jr. play Tony Stark in Iron Man, so it's not unprecedented in the MCU.

    Of course, things were a little bit different for both actors. Most producers saw working with RDJ as risky due to his past problems, while Pratt was overweight and not in "superhero shape" for the part. This made it difficult to picture the actor in the role, and casting him surprised a lot of fans who knew him from Parks and Recreation​​​​​​.

    Initially, Gunn had no interest in hiring Pratt, but he completely changed his mind after meeting the actor. Gunn was adamant about hiring Pratt following a 30-second audition; he suggested giving the actor a CGI six-pack to overcome his weight. Fortunately, this wasn't necessary, as Pratt dropped all of his excess weight and packed on the muscle, toning his body for the role.

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    40 VOTES

    The Shawarma Scene At The End Of 'The Avengers' Was Filmed After The Premiere

    At the end of The Avengers, Iron Man is roused back to consciousness by the Hulk, and not long after he comes to, he mentions a shawarma place he saw nearby. Cut to the end of the movie, and a post-credits scene shows the Avengers sitting around a table eating some shawarma. It's a funny little throwaway scene, but it had an impact. Shawarma sales went through the roof after the movie came out - but the scene itself didn't even exist until after the film's premiere.

    The movie was finished and everyone had gone their separate ways, but as Joss Whedon noted, everyone would be together for the premiere. The cast came back together, and they filmed the scene long after the movie had wrapped. By the time they filmed it, Chris Evans had grown facial hair for another role, which is why he's not eating - he has some prosthetics covering his beard. Once the scene was completed, it was added to the end of the movie, and shawarma restaurants got a nice boost in sales.