A few bits to chew on for those who have followed the Marvel movies, one of these that surprised me was The Incredible Hulk movie, Iron Man 2 and Thor all took place in the same week!... Secret facts about the Marvel Cinematic Universe even superfans may not know Anthony Hopkins improvised Thor’s banishment You know you’ve nailed it when you’ve landed a great actor like Sir Anthony Hopkins to play a part in your movie. He was cast to play Odin, father of Thor, in the 2011 movie of the titular character. Kenneth Branagh, who directed Thor, allowed Hopkins to improvise some of his lines (why wouldn’t he, really?), and he certainly delivered. Apparently, during the scene where Odin banishes Thor to Earth (or Midgard), Hopkins gave an incredible improvised performance, rendering his co-stars speechless – especially when he snarled at Tom Hiddleston. Wakandan is a real language For those of you who were wondering, the language they speak in Black Panther’s Wakanda is actually a real-life language. Though not spoken widely, the language of Xhosa is an official language in South Africa, and it was used instead of making up a whole dialect for the film (like what was done for Avatar). Chadwick Boseman, who plays Wakandian king T’Challa, adopted a ‘Wakandian’ accent to sound both rich and intimidating for his role as the Black Panther. Groot edition scripts Despite what many people might think, it’s not easy having to repeat the same line over and over for an entire movie, while still making it sound believable. So to play Groot on Guardians of the Galaxy, Vin Diesel actually receives a special ‘Groot-Edition’ script, in which his lines are translated to English. This allows him to convey true meaning in the words “I am Groot,” and give it more depth. This version is highly secretive – only Vin Diesel and director James Gunn know what it says. That famous Thor: Ragnarok line Thor: Ragnarok was pretty hilarious, but one line especially stuck with MCU fans. We’re talking about that line Thor says when he reunites with the Hulk and is forced to fight him one-on-one in the Grandmaster’s stadium – “I know him! He’s a friend from work!” and the truth behind that line’s origin is pretty amazing. A boy who got to visit the set thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, had the idea that Thor jokes about the Hulk being a “friend from work” and everyone thought it was hilarious. Groot actually has a condition Who doesn’t love Groot? The lovable tree became a true fan-favorite when Guardians of the Galaxy first came out. His famous line, “I am Groot” often provides a comic relief for the film, but not many fans know its origin. According to the origin story, Groot was once able to speak in full sentences. But apparently, the entirety of his species – including him – suffer from a disorder which makes their vocal chords harden until they can only utter “I am Groot.” That adorable one-liner will never ring the same now! The meaning of JARVIS Jarvis is the trusted AI assistant to Iron Man, who definitely had some funny moments. Voiced by the incredibly talented British actor Paul Bettany, Jarvis later became a real Avenger, the Vision. He became a human-looking android with an Infinity Stone (the Mind Stone) jammed in his forehead, in Avengers: Age of Ultron. While many fans know who, or what, Jarvis is, little know what the acronym J.A.R.V.I.S. actually stands for – “Just a Rather Very Intelligent System.” But Jarvis was also the name of Howard Stark’s driver and butler who passed away – so naming the system after him is also Tony’s way of honoring him. One devastating week Iron Man, which came out in 2008, marked the very beginning of the MCU, as it all started with the attacks that happened in the film. It was so hugely successful, Marvel decided to follow up with another Iron Man movie, as well as two standalone movies. You may not have known this, but the events of The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), and Thor (2011) actually take place in the same week. That’s one hell of a week for S.H.I.E.L.D., and it provided a comic introduction to the Avengers called Fury’s Big Week. A strange case of severed hands Some Marvel fans may have noticed a certain trend that kept happening in Phase Two of the MCU. In every single film, a character would lose their hand. Whether it was Loki fake-severing Thor’s hand in Thor: The Dark World, or Nebula removing her own hand in GotG – there were severed hands all over the place! Kevin Feige was asked about this, and ended up admitting it was done purposely, and was meant as a homage to Star Wars: Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back. The Dora Milaje There were many great things about Black Panther, but one of the best ones was the Dora Milaje. This Wakandian army of fierce females you did not want to mess with, was there to protect the king, as well as Wakanda. But not many people know that the Dora Milaje is, in fact, partially based on a real female army in Africa – the Dahomey Amazons. They’re considered to be the most feared women on the planet. The Incredible Hulk deleted scene There are quite a few deleted scenes in the MCU, which you can watch on the Blu-Ray bonus features. But this one particular scene was so dark, we’re not surprised it got cut from the film. The Incredible Hulk was actually meant to open with Bruce Banner traveling to the north, intending to take his own life with a gun. But he ends up becoming the Hulk, who then crushes the gun. In the back of the scene, you can also see Captain America’s shield – as that’s where Cap was later found. What’s with the number 12? Ever wondered why the MCU features the number 12 so many times? It starts when Tony Stark gives Pepper 12 percent credit to Stark Tower. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were born 12 minutes apart, and in GotG, Rocket laughs after he hears Peter only has 12 percent of a plan to stop Ronan. After fans theorized about the importance of the number, James Gunn was finally asked about it. The answer? He said “the number 12 is often used in writing/comedy because it’s the highest one syllable number.” The MCU’s news channel Marvel’s universe is admittedly one of the greatest fictional creations in cinema. It’s an entire world, and what world would be complete without its own news channel? Marvel has WHIH Newsfront as it’s official news program, and from time to time they upload a segment of it on YouTube. From covering the New York attack, to interviewing Scott Lang (Ant-Man), it covers everything happening in our favorite universe. It stars Leslie Bibb as Christine Everhart, whom you may remember as the reporter who got involved with Tony Stark in Iron Man. Captain Marvel was supposed to be in Age of Ultron Probably every Marvel fan is looking forward to its first female-starring film, Captain Marvel, starring the talented Brie Larson. Fans were excited to see her take on the role for the movie, which also starred Samuel L. Jackson and was set in the ’90s. But apparently, she almost made a cameo appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron, as Cap and Black Widow assembled a new team of Avengers. Joss Whedon then decided against it, feeling it wouldn’t do justice to the anticipated character. After her standalone film was released, she made an epic appearance in Endgame. The Hulk was voiced by Lou Ferrigno Before Mark Ruffalo, before Edward Norton, there was Lou Ferrigno. He’s widely remembered for playing Bruce Banner in the popular ’70s TV show, The Incredible Hulk. He didn’t even need CGI, they just painted him green and that was convincing enough! Marvel producers decided they needed to honor him in some way, and found a great way to do it. They asked Ferrigno to voice the Hulk itself – and he did in every film, up to Thor: Ragnarok which saw the Hulk’s story arc expanding, and Mark Ruffalo took over. Curse of the Mind Stone There’s a fan theory that quite possibly depicts what’s really going on in the story arc that leads to the famous “snappening” (the moment where Thanos – spoiler alert – snaps his fingers and turns half of the universe to dust). It’s possible that both Thanos and Tony Stark have been cursed by the Mind Stone. While Tony is obsessed with preventing the vision he saw of the dead Avengers, Thanos is obsessed with preventing overpopulation like on Titan. Thanos even tells Tony: “I know your soul…it is much like mine, cursed with knowledge.” The reason why Marvel wants to remove Thor As much as we love Thor, fans are beginning to speculate about his fate in the MCU, especially since Chris Hemsworth’s contract is coming to an end after Avengers 4. Marvel will also probably have to get rid of some of their many, many characters at some point. Thor has already lost his father, his home planet, most of his people, and his brother (why Loki, why?) – so in terms of plot, he hasn’t got much left to give. Not to mention that with $30 million dollars per movie, Chris is the 3rd highest-paid actor in the MCU, so losing him might be financially beneficial for Disney. Keeping up with the comics As the first Captain Marvel movie was set in the 1990s, Carol Danvers’ hair matched the hairstyle sported by the character in the comics of that same period. Since Avengers: Endgame takes place in the present day, however, the decision was likely made to update Captain Marvel’s hairstyle to the one currently used in the comics, which is much shorter and pointier. Rocket Raccoon even makes a joke about it in the movie. When Carol says she won’t be returning to Earth anytime soon, Rocket quips, “What, you gonna get another haircut?” No need to stay all the way through While Marvel Studios didn’t invent the post-credits stinger, the official name for those short scenes featured at the end of every Marvel movie, they’ve certainly made them what they are today. Avengers: Endgame, however, is different. Being the last movie in the Infinity Stones Saga, it wraps up the storylines of all the movies that preceded it. As such, it doesn’t have a stinger. If you wait all the way to the end, however, you’ll hear the sound of a hammer clanging on metal from the first Iron Man – the movie that started it all. .