"Guardians of the Galaxy" is less than three weeks away — believe me, I've been counting down for years — which means that any day now someone somewhere will see the movie early and reveal the surprise post-credits scene online.
It's an unfortunate side effect of both the internet and preview screenings, but leaks have become an eventuality of Marvel Studios movies. So while the end credits stringer remains unspoiled, let's take a look at some possibilities for "Guardians of the Galaxy."
"Avengers: Age of Ultron" Preview
Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe established a precedent for the pre-"Avengers" post-credit sequence. Audience members who hung around to the very end of the movie were treated to a sneak preview of "The Avengers," the first place to see such a preview. It stands to reasons that Marvel would want to plug their next team-up movie in the film directly preceding it once again.
Another factor to consider here that is San Diego Comic-Con takes place the week before "Guardians of the Galaxy" hits theaters. Marvel loves to show off footage in Hall H, so it's very likely by that the time "Guardians" debuts, the company will have some "Age of Ultron" footage ready to show off.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" Sequel Tease
With "Guardians" already tracking to bring in somewhere between $60 million and $80 million, it seems more and more unlikely that Marvel would retire Star-Lord, Rocket, Gamora, Groot and Drax after one outing. It wouldn't be out of the question for a post-credits scene to tee up where a sequel would go.
Hint of Other Future Marvel Characters
It doesn't exactly make sense to shift from a band of outlaws in the far reaches space and then shift to someone very Earth-bound like Ant-Man. What's more likely would a preview of an upcoming character that could realistically have a link to the setting of "Guardians," and the only hero with a planned movie and a possible connection is Doctor Strange.
Since Doctor Strange has the ability to pretty much anywhere he damn well chooses, the far reaches of the galaxy aren't out of the question.
"Avengers 3" Set-Up
Even though a third "Avengers" movie is years and years down the road, a preview of that movie isn't out of the question considering Thanos' presence in "Guardians." Most everyone assumes that the Mad Titan will be the force to contend with in "Avengers 3," since he's busy collecting Infinity Stones, and speaking of Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme played a key role in the famous "Infinity Gauntlet" storyline.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" opens in theaters on August 1.