Marvel Studios has built its empire on the back of the shared universe model. Starting with Iron Man in 2008, every subsequent film produced by the studio has been part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a franchise that not only encompasses 20+ feature films but a stable of TV shows and other associated media. Part of the reason this franchise model has worked so well for Marvel is that each film features multiple connections to other entries in the series, with each new installment building upon the plot of the one before it.
Much of this taken the form of post-credits stingers designed to tease future plotlines and characters, but there are also a variety of little details hidden away in some movies that offer clues for what’s to come next. In other words, the MCU is pretty much always foreshadowing something on the horizon and here are the 50 most prominent moments of foreshadowing that we’ve seen over the last decade of Marvel movies.
50. War Machine – Iron Man
We’d have to wait until Iron Man 2 to see Tony Stark’s best buddy Colonel James Rupert Rhodes don a battlesuit and become War Machine, but the original film sets this event up in a fun way that shows Marvel already had big sequel plans from the beginning. After helping Tony recover following an attack from Obadiah Stane, Rhodes catches a glimpse of one of Stark’s Iron Man prototypes but decides against wearing it, stating “Next time, baby,” as he leaves. In a way, he’s only half right, as Rhodes does indeed become War Machine in Iron Man 2, albeit with a different actor in the suit, as Terrence Howard was replaced by Don Cheadle in the role.