We all know now that Marvel Studios Iron Man films, 2008’s Incredible Hulk and the upcoming Thor and Captain America films are being laid out as existing in the same cinematic universe culminating with the heroes meeting up for 2012’s The Avengers. We’ve already seen some of the first cornerstones of that foundation laid out at the end of Iron Man with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), head of the spy organization known as SHIELD, approaching Iron Man/ Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) about participating in something called the “Avengers Initiative.” A few weeks later in The Incredible Hulk, we saw Stark approach the Hulk’s nemesis General “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt) with a similar offer.
Additionally, many of super-science weapons that the Army tried to use against the Hulk were noted as coming from Stark’s company, even though at the end of Iron Man, he had withdrawn his company from arms manufacture. If you’ve been wondering exactly how Stark seemingly reverses that decision, we might find out in Iron Man 2. We already know that Jackson’s Fury has a larger rolein Iron Man 2. But now we know where the movie falls in the overall timeline.
Last night, in response to a question from a fan, director Jon Favreau tweeted that Iron Man 2 takes place before The Incredible Hulk. Not much of a revelation about the film, but for those of us having fun assembling the various puzzle pieces that will make up the cinematic Marvel Universe, it’s a big detail. As we get closer to Iron Man 2‘s May 7 release, I’m sure we will be seeing more such clues.