Funny Behind-The-Scenes Marvel Facts

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“I just instinctively grabbed his man boob.”

1.

The Department of Defense decided to stop collaborating with the team behind The Avengers because the superhero movie was too darn hard-to-believe.


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Phil Strub, a representative of the Department of Defense, told Wired.com’s Danger Room blog, “We couldn’t reconcile the unreality of this international organization and our place in it. To whom did S.H.I.E.L.D. answer? Did we work for S.H.I.E.L.D.? We hit that roadblock and decided we couldn’t do anything.” He added, “It just got to the point where it didn’t make any sense.”


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That’s fair enough, though you do have to wonder if they were surprised by the film’s fantastical approach to US government policy and, well, everything else.


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2.

When Tom Holland was preparing to play Spider-Man, he attended the Bronx High School of Science for two days to get into character, since Peter Parker is a high-achieving student at the fictional Midtown School of Science and Technology. Holland shadowed a senior named Arun Bishop, who told Business Insider that Holland posed as his cousin Ben. Ben supposedly gained admittance to the competitive school due to a military parent who moved the family to New York City.


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Bishop recalled that Holland got bored with classes and attempted to amuse himself by telling other students he was Spider-Man, but no one believed him. Bishop said, “Most of them wouldn’t believe him at all. Because that just doesn’t make sense, right? Why, at Bronx Science, would there be an actor who’s been shadowing me for a day and a half?”


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Despite that presumably confidence-bruising reception, Holland eventually managed to get a few of his “classmates” to believe him by showing them his ID. Bishop recalled that when they realized who Cousin Ben really was, they “went a little crazy.”


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3.

Hayley Atwell, who plays Agent Peggy Carter, told Esquire in a 2011 interview that the moment in Captain America: The First Avenger where Peggy goes to touch the newly muscular Steve Rogers’ chest, then thinks better of it, was unscripted and came about when she “instinctively grabbed [Chris Evans’s] man boob.”

Said Atwell, “When Chris Evans first took his shirt off on the set of Captain America, I just instinctively grabbed his man boob. They kept it in the film. So we did a couple of takes of me being really inappropriate with my hand on his pec for the duration of the scene.”


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4.

In a SiriusXM interview, Tom Holland recalled that while working on a swinging stunt for Spider-Man: No Way Home, he farted on Zendaya.


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He said, “It’s tough, the suit’s tight, the harness squeezes it out.” Zendaya added, “I felt the rattle.” At the time, Holland (heroically, and somewhat redundantly, considering the aforementioned rattle) confessed that it was him. When the interviewer said that it would’ve been more awkward if that happened while they were filming the first movie, rather than the third, Holland joked, “I think it would’ve been a really good talking point.”


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Bonus funny moment: During the interview, Holland accidentally said “shit,” then had this reaction before he realized that’s a-okay on SiriusXM.

5.

Hannibal Buress hired a lookalike through Twitter to attend the Spider-Man: Homecoming premiere in his place. Buress chose Joe Carroll who, according to Vanity Fair, had previously been a stand-in for Buress at an awards show, to attend the red carpet and answer questions about his (non-existent) experiences playing Peter Parker’s gym teacher, Coach Wilson.

The tweet offered $500 to a “lookalike with solid comedic timing for an event tonight.” Buress told Vanity Fair that he hired a faux Buress because he was out of town filming another movie, Tag. Said Buress, “I think people think I was trying to be weird. If I was available, I would have gone.” So it was less a prank than an innovative solution to a scheduling snafu.

6.

Yelena’s continuous ribbing of Natasha’s hand-on-the-ground, spine-in-peril superhero landing in Black Widow was added into the script because one of the writers overheard Florence Pugh poking fun at Scarlett Johansson for it.

In an interview with MTV News, Pugh said, “The whole me taking the piss out of Scarlett’s pose was because on-set, in the stunts rehearsals, the stunties were like, ‘And we gotta figure out your pose.’ And I was like, ‘Oh cripes, I have to have a pose. What’s realistic? How should you land?’ And they were like, ‘Oh, well none of the superhero poses are correct for landing.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, what’s Scarlett’s? I mean, surely that would hurt.’ And they were like, ‘Oh yeah, if she were a real person and she landed, she’d have so many broken bones.’ And I was like, ‘Does Scarlett know this?!'”

Pugh decided to let Johannson know about the whole broken bones conundrum, in the form of teasing her about it on set. A writer overheard them and decided to add it in, or, as Johansson jokingly put it, take “ten years of work [and] flush it down the toilet.”

7.

Wunmi Mosaku, aka Hunter B-15 in Loki, told Decider that she was “so excited” to be cast in the show…though she had absolutely no idea that she’d auditioned for it in the first place.


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Allow me to explain. When she auditioned, Mosaku was sent “some scenes for an untitled project,” and not a whole script. She explained, “Generally with those kinds of things, you take it seriously because if anyone’s being top secret, it’s likely to be something big. And so I sent off my audition, which was a self-tape, and then I was home in the UK at my mom’s house, and I got a call from my agent in the middle of the night saying I’d been offered Loki, and I was like, ‘When did I audition for Loki?'” It’s like the show business equivalent of ordering something online and forgetting about it until the package arrives, though instead of a book or new shoes, it’s a life-changing career opportunity.


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8.

Paul Bettany (Vision) is another Marvel star who got the chance to receive some unexpected good news from the folks at the studio. In his case, he already knew who he played…but he thought he was about to be fired from the role.


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Bettany told BuzzFeed that since his character died in Avengers: Infinity War, he figured a call from Marvel HQ couldn’t mean good news. Said Bettany, “I looked at my wife and I went, ‘I think I’m getting the can.’ I was very nervous as I go over there. I wanted everybody to feel comfortable and not feel icky about the whole thing, because I thought they were going to be gentlemen, and just look me in the face and say, ‘It’s over.'”


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He went on, “So I went in. I said, ‘Look, there’s just absolutely no hard feelings. It’s been a great run. Thank you so much.’ And they were like, ‘Are you quitting?’ And I went, ‘No, aren’t you firing me?’ And they went, ‘No, we were gonna pitch you a TV show.’ That’s how I found out.”


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That show was WandaVision. You may have heard of it.


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9.

Speaking of improv: Avengers: Infinity War screenwriting team Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely told Yahoo! that Dave Bautista (Drax) came up with the line, “Why is Gamora?” The script itself only contained the “where” and “who” parts of the exchange.

Tragically, no one answers Drax’s question. Markus recalled that when Bautista tried out the line, his first reaction was, “Okay, you’re very good at your job.”


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10.

That scene where a hungover Iron Man sits in the giant Randy’s Donuts donut and enjoys a snack in Iron Man 2?

Director Jon Favreau told the LA Times Hero Complex blog that while he figured a small business would be happy just to be included, the owner of the donut shop wanted Favreau to work his special effects magic and have Iron Man fly through the donut hole.

Favreau said, “I didn’t want something that felt forced. I wanted something that was really LA, and I thought they’d be thrilled. So, you know, we got there, and I’m talking to the owner, Randy, and he says, ‘Yeah, well, you know I’d really like if he flies through the donut.’ Wow. Really? But that’s how it is though, right?” Unfortunately for Randy, Iron Man doesn’t do much in there other than sit, snack, and piss off Nick Fury.


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11.

Tom Hiddleston told Empire that Loki’s death scene in Thor: The Dark World was originally intended to be real. But test audiences refused to believe that the emotional sequence wasn’t a cover for yet another one of Loki’s tricks.

Said Hiddleston, “Loki’s death on Svartalfheim was written as a death, and I would say Chris [Hemsworth] and I played that scene for real. That was meant to be that he redeemed himself, he helped save his brother, he helped save Jane Foster, but that he, in the process, sacrificed himself.”


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He went on, “It was part of the original pitch, and in test screenings, the audience didn’t accept it. They said, you know, ‘He’s obviously coming back. That didn’t really happen.’ And there was a very strange and almost unanimous resistance to it. They decided that wasn’t the end.”


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Apparently, Marvel did too good of a job establishing Loki’s whole “lover of high stakes pranks” vibe to kill him off that easily.


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12.

Taika Waititi, the director behind Thor: Ragnarok, revealed during an interview on the podcast Happy Sad Confused that he wanted to include a flashback to Thor and Loki’s (extremely awkward) childhoods, but that it had to be cut since it became “pointless” during development.


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It’s a shame it did, though, because based on what Waititi described, it would’ve been a masterpiece. Thor would’ve been a “pudgy little kid walking around with a mullet and being picked on by other kids,” while Loki was a “little emo goth hanging out by himself.”


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And to round out the vision, it all would’ve taken place in an Asgard where the gods are all rocking “massive shoulder pads and “mullets.” Waititi said that the flashback could make the cut “if we ever do a Thor 4,” so I’d start praying now.


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13.

Chris Pratt pitched a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 joke that was politely — but firmly, and repeatedly — turned down by the film’s director, James Gunn.


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Pratt told io9 about the rejected pitch. In the film, Kurt Russell stars as Peter Quill/Star-Lord’s planet-god father, Ego. Pratt said, “Peter Quill would know who Kurt Russell is. So we had to create the world where Kurt Russell is not one of his icons the way he actually would have been. All these amazing stars of television and film of that era are the icons of Peter Quill’s ideology he’s created around what Earth was.”


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He went on, “I kept pitching James the idea, ‘Should I know that that’s Kurt Russell?’ He’s like, ‘Just trust me. Don’t.’” Thus, Star-Lord’s destruction of the fourth wall was prevented, and no one mistook Ego for famed American actor Kurt Russell.


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14.

And finally: Paul Rudd told Entertainment Tonight that when he told his young son which superhero he would be playing, his reaction was less than impressed. Significantly less, in fact.


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Rudd said, “When I told my own son that I was going to be in a superhero movie, he asked me what it was, and I said I was going to be playing Ant-Man, and he was not impressed. What he actually said was, ‘I can’t wait to see how stupid that’ll be.’ Swear to God, that’s what he said.” Maybe he’s more of a Spider-Man fan?


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Hopefully, Paul Rudd’s son was won over by the lil’ guy (meaning Ant-Man, not Paul Rudd) when he saw the finished product.


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