19 Post-Credits Scenes That Led to Nowhere

Doctor Strange (2016)

We now come at last to the mega-franchise that most folks think of in the modern era when they hear the term “post-credits.” It’s time for the Marvel Cinematic Universe machine, which has generally rewired how moviegoers attend films, at least when it comes to blockbusters. Nearly every one of the MCU’s 30-some films have a post-credits scene. And honestly, almost all pay off in some way, either as a gag, a (rare) emotional beat, or, most commonly, as an extended commercial for another Marvel movie down the line.

Which is what makes Doctor Strange (2016) an odd one. With the Marvel Studios system nearly a decade old at this point, this film has the brand’s first post-credits teaser for a sequel or narrative development that would never be followed up on. If you do not recall, Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) have been friendly for most of the film’s running time. In the third act, however, Mordo is required to make an almost inexplicable heel turn where he loses faith in magic. This turns out to be a precursor to a post-credits scene in which Mordo is revealed to be hunting down all wizards and magic-users, saying there are “too many sorcerers.”

… He is then never seen again, at least in the MCU’s main timeline. This means we don’t witness Strange come into conflict with his former colleague and semi-friend, or even what the killing of sorcerers means for Earth. The subplot is just dropped and by the time Strange got a sequel six years later, he rather limply has a throw away line about the Mordo of his universe being a jerk. If you say so, Stevie.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Marvel created another dangling thread that is apparently never being picked up on in Spider-Man: Homecoming, the first of three well-received Tom Holland Spidey flicks. In this end credits, the film’s main villain, Adrian Toomes/the Vulture (Michael Keaton) is in prison where he encounters an inmate who should be familiar to comics readers: Mac Gargan (Michael Mando). Mac reveals there’s a rumor that Toomes knows who Spider-Man is, which is true. Yet Vulture denies it. It’s an intriguing tease, suggesting that despite being sent to prison by 16-year-old Peter Parker, Toomes likes the kid enough to keep his secret safe… or perhaps use it to exact his own personal revenge. The movie also seems to be setting up a Sinister Six film, as any comic book reader knows Gargan becomes the Scorpion (a fact teased by a tattoo on his neck).

This of course never came to pass. Sony Pictures’ own plans for a Sinister Six movie probably played a role in this, leading eventually to Keaton’s Toomes being unceremoniously teleported to the “Venomverse” in the misbegotten Morbius movie last year. But even that feels like Sony possibly salvaging spare parts, since Morbius only came after two more Holland-led Spidey movies abandoned Keaton’s Vulture and his intriguing dynamic with Parker, instead favoring just bringing back all the Raimi favorites. Plus, Electro.

Justice League (2017/2021)

This might be the most confounding assortment of post-credits scenes ever compiled into one film… or rather two versions of the same film. There are even two versions of the same post-credits scene! In the theatrically released cut of Justice League, which was heavily rewritten, reshot, and reedited by Joss Whedon, we see a now proudly bald Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) invite the Batman villain Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello) aboard a yacht in Metropolis harbor where the supervillain has absconded. He then, in proper Whedon fashion, makes a pun about creating “a league of our own.”


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