We know the story by now: on 2008 Marvel Studios released a single live-action adaptation of a Marvel Comics superhero, Iron Man. From that solo film starring Robert Downey Jr., sprung a fully-realized “universe” of sorts for a significant stable of Marvel characters excepting Spider-Man and the X-Men: the MCU.
Ten years have passed since that small beginning, and now, in 2018, Marvel Studios is preparing to celebrate the first decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in style. In fact, they’ve been pretty much preparing for this initial milestone since the previous year, as a recently released group photo reveals.
Our featured photograph is a magnificent secret gathering that was done back in October 7, 2017. On Atlanta, the location set for Avengers: Infinity War, about 79 different actors and actresses who have appeared in all previous films in the MCU were brought together for an impressively massive celebratory snapshot.
As the above video from Marvel Entertainment shows, the mere assembly of stars who have served as the main cast for almost 20 individual MCU films was a mind-blowing undertaking. And the participants were just as awestruck, some of them not quite believing that they’re surrounded by superhero movie actors.
Robert Downey Jr., the man who started it all cast-wise as Tony Stark/Iron Man, had the honor of being seated “dead center” in the 4-tier group photo, with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige to his left and Marvel’s grand old man Stan Lee seated behind them. In Downey’s opinion though, any one of his co-stars were big enough to sit in his place.
In addition to the MCU cast, Feige and Lee, two directors were also part of the shoot: Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn and Black Panther’s Ryan Coogler. And truth be told, some other MCU actors couldn’t make the shoot due to other obligations or conflicting schedules.
This MCU “class photo” is pretty significant too, as, although the MCU will likely try to keep going as long as it could, the stars themselves will eventually be bowing out of their long-portrayed roles eventually. Nobody knows what the future will bring for Marvel Studios, but this moment will be kept for posterity. Here’s to 10 more MCU years.