The end-credits scene on Iron Man 2, which wasn’t shown to reviewers, links to another upcoming superhero film.

Reviewers of Iron Man 2 are missing out on one important detail about the Paramount Pictures release… the short scene at the end of the credits that is missing from the preview prints.

In a similar fashion to the first Iron Man movie, reviewers are seeing a slightly shorter version. In the original 2008 movie the end credits sequence involved Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) having a meeting with Col. Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), head of secret agency SHIELD, to discuss Iron Man linking up with new superhero group The Avengers. But this only appeared on the release prints.

Fury gets much more of a role in Iron Man 2, as the eye-patched super-spy helps Stark with his medical problems and again also discusses the Avengers team-up. The Avengers movie is in the planning process, set for a 2012 release, and would bring together several Marvel superheroes.

But the end-credits scene on Iron Man 2 has no specific reference to that movie, but instead links to another upcoming superhero film….so, spoilers upcoming – look away if a surprise is preferred:

After the credits the film opens on a wide shot of the New Mexico desert and a black car (number plate 8RE 2Z1 for trivia fans) speeding through a dust cloud. It parks at the edge of a slope, and SHIELD agent Phil Coulson (played by Clark Gregg) gets out. Earlier in the film he had mentioned to Stark – for no apparent reason – that he was heading to New Mexico. Now we know why.

Coulson stares down at a massive crater, makes a phone call, and says, simply “Sir, we found it”. The final cutaway shot is of an ancient Norse hammer, partially buried in the ground.

Yes – this time round we get a reference to Kenneth Branagh’s upcoming Paramount film Thor, which stars Chris Hemsworth as the Marvel superhero character, the Norse god of thunder who arrives on Earth to battle evil. The film, due for a 2011 release, also stars Natalie Portman, Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins, while Clark Gregg is also reprising his Agent Coulson role.