In the Marvel movies, the Infinity stones are rare artifacts with untold powers, and it's nearly impossible to get your hands on one (unless you're a superhero in one of those movies, in which case they tend to just fall right in your lap). But if you're willing to shell out the money for the amazing Marvel Phase 2 Blu-Ray box set, you'll also be buying your very own Power Stone in its trademark shell from "Guardians Of The Galaxy." Eat your purple heart out, Thanos!
Of course the replica is pretty dang niffty, and so are the six movies you get along with it ("Iron Man 3," "Thor: The Dark World," "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," "Guardians Of The Galaxy," Avengers: Age Of Ultron" and "Ant-Man"). But the coolest part of the set is all the amazing bonus material, which includes deleted scenes, behind the scenes documentaries, and even a whole treasure trove of artifacts and objects.
So if you're not getting the Blu-Ray set, what are you missing out on? Let's take a moment to share the awesome secrets that we learned about the Avengers, Thanos, and Marvel's iconic post-credit sequences:
Marvel makes you sit through the credits on purpose.
"I remember being a kid and going to movies when you were rewarded for sitting through the credits," Marvel president Kevin Feige said, citing "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Masters Of The Universe" as examples. "We got to the point where we were making our own films... we always thought it would be fun to do that." So they did, with Nick Fury in "Iron Man..." and then with Tony Stark in "The Incredible Hulk." Now, it's become their signature move.
The post credit sequences are usually an afterthought.
"We never sit down and go, 'What can be a great tag for this movie?' We sit down and go, 'How are we going to make a great movie?'" Feige said. "The tag discussions usually come about naturally, and sometimes it comes about like Shwarama" -- meaning the infamous "Avengers" post-credit sequence that was filmed a few weeks before the movie was released.
Thanos was 100% Joss Whedon's idea.
"The idea that he was the prime mover behind all of this just seemed natural," The "Avengers" and "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" director said.
So was the Infinity Glove.
Because "Avengers: AGe Of Ultron" was Whedon's last contribution to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he wanted to end with Thanos, too. "Without Joss, there is no Thanos," Feige admitted.
And Bruce Banner and Tony Stark's therapy session? You have Robert Downey Jr. to thank for that.
"I was always kind of like, Hey, it made sense, you know? Bruce and Tony drive off into the Central Park sunset at the end of 'Avengers,' so I think a lot of it is that we're quote unquote, 'in cahoots,'" he said of the hilarious "Iron Man 3" stinger.
"Guardians Of The Galaxy" and "Thor: The Dark World" were being filmed at the same time.
That's how the team got the idea to bring the Collector into the end of "The Dark World" to collect the Aether. "We knew audience would be like, What is going on? Who is this guy? Which would be answered the next year in 'Guardians,'" said Feige.
"Iron Man 3" was meant to be both a sequel to "Iron Man 2" and "Avengers."
The Marvel team tries to focus on building the individual stories befre they figure out how it all ties together, but "Avengers" really shaped Tony Stark in a way that couldn't be ignored. "He's faced with something world-changing... this is a very scientifically minded guy who thought he was at the cutting edge of science, and suddenly he learns there's an infinite amount he doesn't know."
Iron Man's suits have gotten so much easier to wear since the first movie.
"Mark 1 was really clunky, but it was a ball," Downey admitted -- but now there are men and women all over Marvel whose job it is to make those suits as light and easy to wear as possible. His "Iron Man 3" suit is made from the same material as the stunt suit for "Iron Man," and it's actually fairly soft and flexible, says suit construction supervisor Shane Mahan.
Stan Lee's cameo got cut in "Iron Man 3"
Remember when Stan Lee was briefly a beauty pageant judge in "Iron Man 3?" Originally he was a lot skeevier -- in the first cut of the scene, he spontaneously held up a "10" sign at an inappropriate moment only for another judge to make him lower it.
Thor's going to be a way bigger deal as the Infinity War gets closer.
"He is the lynchpin between Earth and everything else, "Feige said. "He was our guide into the cosmic side of the Marvel universe. He is aware of cosmic histories and cosmic legends and cosmic mythologies that nobody on Earth is aware of."
Thor also has the biggest wardrobe of all the Avengers.
"He's constantly working out, so we're faced with the challenge his muscle tone changing of his muscle tone changing," said "The Dark World" costume designer Wendy Partridge . "We'll end up with about 25 sets of armor and 30+ capes."
And "Thor" might not have been the first time Earth encountered Asgardians.
On the back of a newspaper clipping about Howard and Maria Stark's tragic death in 1991 was this ominous message about "continent-sized windstorms." Was it someone from Asgard?
Captain America has a hard time being a celebrity.
"I always interpret Cap as having a certain sense of loneliness, given the fact that everyone knows who he is," Chris Evans said. "He is famous. And I think as a result it makes him a little suspicious of people' motives when they approach him."
Marvel was already thinking about the Winter Soldier when they cast Sebastian Stan as Bucky.
"We talked about it briefly when we were casting Sebastian on the first film for Bucky,"
Keige said, noting that he sees the Winter Soldier and Bucky as completely different parts for Stan to play. "That maybe if things work out, if it all goes well, you could be doing this incarnation."
The old interview with Peggy Carter at the Smithsonian was much longer.
In an extended interview sequence with Peggy Carter, the interviewer asks her about Project Rebirth, her own personal relationship with Captain America, ("He treated me like a person, which I very much appreciated," she said), and how she was the last person to speak to him before his plane went down -- which ends with her in tears. The screenwriters admitted that they overwrote the scene on purpose and cut the end of it because they didn't want her crying in the past and in the present.
"Guardians Of The Galaxy" owes its teamwork to "Avengers."
"Guardians" was certainly the riskiest movie Marvel's done since "Iron Man," but as producer Victoria Alonso noted, having worked on the "Avengers" already helped them figure out how to differentiate 5 different misfit characters and have them work together successfully.
Chris Pratt didn't read any comics before becoming Star-Lord.
At least, he didn't read any "Guardians Of The Galaxy" comics -- when he came to James Gunn for recommendations, the director told him not to read any, saying that "we're making a new incarnation of this. Part of that's scary as a actor because you want to do as much research as you can and you want to draw from as many resources as you can, but I feel like sometimes the magic can be lost if you overthink things," Chris Pratt said.
Drax's tattoos tell the story of his life.
In one deleted scene on Nothing, Drax explains the significance of his tattoos to Rocket and Groot. "This is the history of my life," he says, starting with his marriage (called a "soul union") and ending with the only time he's ever cried -- which wasn't the day his wife and daughter were murdered. Rocket asks why, and the two argue about who knows more about family tragedies.
Don't call anyone from "Guardians Of The Galaxy" superheroes.
Because they're not... and that's what drew director James Gunn to the film. "We're not a superhero story -- we're a space epic!" he said.
Wanda Maximoff is already the most powerful Avenger.
And that's why Joss Whedon wanted to include her in "Age Of Ultron," because he wanted a "revolving and evolving door" of new characters. "I wanted, not just a new perspective but a new visual language, and Wanda -- her powers? Nobody's ever been at that level before."
And Ant-Man is the least powerful.
Unlike Tony, who's at least got that genius intellect, Scott Lang's powers are all about the suit. When he put it on, Paul Rudd says, "I stood differently."
Ant-thony is officially a female ant.
Remember the brou-haha over the gender of the ants in "Ant-Man?" Well, it's confirmed by this seriously tragic slide -- Ant-thony was a lady, despite Scott Lang's misgendering.
Scarlet Witch's jacket is actually Black Widow's.
In another deleted scene, when Natasha sees Wanda in her now trademark red jacket, she says, "Is that my jacket?" That explains where all her wardrobe changes come from.
Loki almost became king of Asgard.
Okay, well, he is king of Asgard now, posing as his father Odin. But in a deleted scene from "Thor: The Dark World," he's depicted ascending the throne in a magnificent red cape and holding Mjolnir aloft in front of thousands of adoring fans -- in a illusory sequence that his mother Frigga interrupts. Womp womp.
Sokovians probably speak Bosnian.
In one deleted scene, when the Avengers first arrive in Sokovia, Captain America finds a giant graffiti mural of him with the word "Fašista" on it -- which means "fascist" in Bosnian. Well, that makes a lot of sense, considering where in the world they are.
We almost saw Vision's phasing powers.
One of the Vision's most impressive powers is his ability to phase through solid matter -- which he never actually gets to do in "Avengers: Age Of Ultron." But he almost did in a deleted scene where he attacks the Avengers shortly after being born -- when Captain America throws his shield at the new android, it breezes right through him. As cool as the fight is, though, we like the scene the way it is.
Hulk destroyed a whole village in Africa.
In another deleted scene, a bustling African village is torn apart by the Hulk while he's on his Scarlet Witch-fueled rampage. There's even a part where a little girl is trying to recover her ball and stumbles across the Other Guy -- pretty understandable why that was cut, actually.
The Avengers will be fighting over the "Sokovia Accords" in "Civil War."
Pictured above is a document from the United Nations that requires the Avengers to operate under their regulation. You'll notice that no one has signed it yet. Hmmm....
"Ant-Man" had to be the movie to close out Phase 2.
Not only did Marvel want to explore the storied history of S.H.I.E.L.D. and superheroes via Hank Pym and open up the world that way, but they also wanted to end on a more human, smaller story than they did with "Age Of Ultron." Plus, they really wanted Ant-Man to appear in "Civil War."
Those rumors about a psychedelic "Doctor Strange" are very much true.
"There's a quality about him that isn't like anyone else," director Scott Derrickson said of the upcoming films's star, Benedict Cumberbatch. "What you can expect from this movie is a mind-trip action film.
Black Panther is an independent third party in "Civil War"
Thought Black Panther was going to be on Iron Man's team? So did we -- but he's his own man. "He's a monarch, and at the same time he's this superhero, but there's a certain mystery about the character," Chadwick Boseman said.
"Civil War" will explore the ramifications of every Marvel movie up to this point.
"'Civil War' is about the government saying, 'Hold on a second, Avengers, just because you can be first responders across the globe doesn't mean you should be,'" said executive producer Nate Moore.
And it will also change everything about the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"It's going to challenge the way you feel about Tony Stark. It's going to challenge the way you feel about Steve Rogers," co-director Anthony Russo said. "And when you walk out of the theater, nothing is going to be the same."
The Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase 2 Collection Blue-Ray set is available exclusively on Amazon.