Updated September 25, 2019: This week's digital release of Spider-Man: Far From Home has seemingly killed a popular theory about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In a nutshell, a scene at the end of the film seemed to suggest the old Stark-then-Avengers Tower maybe have been reconfigured into a Baxter Building or Four Freedoms Plaza (comic book homes of the Fantastic Four) given plywood construction site barriers seemingly near or around the site that suggest a "4" in the MCUs future (see the image and the full description below).
But in a home video release extra about easter eggs hidden in the film, the voice of E.D.I.T.H. reveals the number sequence does not lead to a "4" as in the Fantastic Four, but that it signifies Far From Home represents the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe 'Phase 3' and leaves a question mark as to what follows after.
While this explanation does not rule out the old Avengers Tower as someday serving as the MCU FF's headquarters, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige did refer to the next MCU phase as "Phase 4," so for the moment Sony and Marvel Studios wants us to know that wasn't the hint they intended to reveal.
Original story published on July 3, 2019: Spoilers ahead for Spider-Man: Far From Home.
As we've previously warned fans who are going to see Spider-Man: Far From Home, you should stay until the very, very end of the credits, to witness not one, but two of the most impactful and surprising final and credit scenes in MCU history.
While there are those writing about these major spoilers openly just a day after Far From Home debuted in North America, as per our tradition we're going to wait a few days to give fans a fighting chance to see them for themselves before diving into the details.
But among the two teaser scenes and arguably three to four major new developments for Spider-Man and the MCU is a 'fourth' mostly hidden Easter egg, practically obscure if you aren't looking really hard for it.
Now we admit, it's somewhat interpretive, but given how far ahead Marvel Studios is of us all (which we'll talk about more soon), it's hard to think its a total coincidence.
So we're going to describe the sequence so you can look out for it yourself. Stop reading, of course, if you don't want even the prompt.
During the main film's final sequence in which Peter and MJ are swinging through the city, the pair swing around and through what was Stark and then Avengers Tower (where the MetLife Building actually stands) in the East Side neighborhood near Grand Central Terminal. As seen in some promotional videos and the image at the top of this story, the building has been significantly reconfigured since Tony Stark sold it and the Avengers moved to their upstate New York complex.
Fans have speculated for months that the building could wind up as a version of the Baxter Building or Four Freedoms Plaza, the Fantastic Four's iconic Manhattan hi-rise headquarters, given Marvel Studios now possess the live action rights to Marvel Comics' first franchise.
... and Marvel Studios doesn't seem like it wants to dissuade observers from that brand of speculation.
Right after swinging through what is now a large cut-out in the middle of the building, the pair land on the street in front of a construction site, seemingly the same site of the reconfigured building itself. Seen briefly on the street behind them are ubiquitous-in-Manhattan plywood construction site barriers, with marketing graphics for the project painted on.
On the green barriers is copy to the effect of "Something Big is Coming" (it's very brief) along with circles with sequenced numbers in them surrounded by white barriers, not unlike the FF's classic '4' logo/chest emblem. The numbers '1', '2', and '3' can clearly be seen (as in this photo from the set) in sequence with the '3' even in a familiar blue background. It's followed by a '?' where one would assume a '4' would follow.
As we say, it's hardly conclusive, but Marvel Studios seem not only aware of every small detail in their films but are now planting seeds several films and years ahead of time (which again we'll get into at a later time) and it seems unlikely they'd insert a detail like that unaware of its possible implications and interpretations. But it's also obscure and unspecific enough that they don't ever have to pick up on again if they go in a different direction with the Fantastic Four.
In other words, Marvel can have their FF cake and eat it too.
So if you've seen it yourself or when you see it, let us know on Twitter or Facebook if you think we're on the right track.