Now that the internet has allowed fans to keep track of every aspect of a film's production, studios, filmmakers and even talent are consistently trying to stay ahead of the game -- to predict what the fans will want most, when they'll want it and how much of it they'll be able to take in without crying foul. In an effort to change things up a little, Marvel decided a few years back that they were going to create a series of superhero films that would all tie into one another somehow, eventually leading up to a group film based on the popular Avengers comic property. In order to do this, though, they needed to sign several actors and actresses to multiple films -- that way they could mix and match by bringing, say, Thor into Iron Man and then Captain America into Thor, and so on.
At first it was a genius move. The fans just fell in love with the fact that Marvel was even attempting something this ambitious, even though the continuity thus far had been restricted to a couple of post-credits scenes and an Easter Egg or two. Hardly anything to write home about. But now that we're approaching the real meat and potatoes of their so-called continuity plan (with films like Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger all set to converge on one another), a few unfortunate facts are beginning to come to light.
In an interview with Jon Favreau for The LA Times, the Iron Man 2 director admits that he couldn't include any kind of cliffhanger at the end of the Iron Man sequel because he had no idea where Marvel would be taking the character over the course of the next three films (meaning Thor, Captain America and The Avengers). He even admitted to having 8 different storylines (!) going so that a larger story could eventually be told.