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WARNING: This article contains minor SPOILERS for The Avengers: Infinity War
The Avengers: Infinity War is still months away, but its best Arrested Development Easter Egg has already been revealed. And we do mean “best,” since the homage to the comedy series may be one of the most ridiculous to ever finds its way into a Marvel movie. Mainly because it’s downright impossible to miss for fans of the series, amounting to a full-blown cameo from one of the most infamous members of the Bluths’ extended family.
With directors Anthony and Joe Russo first taking over Captain America: The Winter Soldier, fans were delighted to see cast members of Community – the Russos’ previous project – pop into the MCU. And it was the cult comedy that the Russos helped launch, Arrested Development, that got the biggest reference in their next film, Captain America: Civil War (to casual viewers, the famed Bluth ‘stair car’ cameo in the Avengers’ airport dust-up was invisible). But to say the directors outdid themselves with Infinity War… would be the understatement of the century.
The reveal comes after scenes from Infinity War leaked online ahead of Marvel’s official trailer – urging the studio to, once again, release Infinity War‘s trailer ahead of schedule. The trailer packed a ton of twists and Avengers secrets into its running time, but those who had heard of the Arrested Development nod were left out. That’s because he scene that contained it was a true leak, containing unfinished shots of Josh Brolin’s Thanos. But where it lacked in purple-skinned fan favorites… it made up for with blue.
We won’t spoil any of the footage, other than to say that the action returns to the site of the Collector from the first Guardians movie. Since the cosmic hoarder acquired the Reality Stone (a.k.a. The Aether) at the end of Thor: The Dark World, he was expected to return in some form. And as the heroes pick their way through his reconstructed collection, Arrested fans won’t want to miss the humanoid alien inside a prominently featured containment cell.
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No need to bury the lede any further: Tobias Fünke is part of the Collector’s collection.
To be clear, it doesn’t appear to be actor David Cross in the cell, so it’s not as incredible a cameo as it theoretically could be. But the sudden appearance of a blue-skinned, mustachioed man looking dejected in a pair of denim cutoff shorts is unmistakable. That’s right, the Collector has captured himself a Never-Nude. It’s impossible to tell if this truly is the fate of David Cross’s ‘Dr. Tobias Fünke’ in the fiction of Arrested Development (since the Russos did help create it), but it’s not out of the question.
By this point, enough insanity has surrounded him to make a kidnapping by a cosmic Collector plausible. And it’s not like a man who feels completely naked in a pair of denim shorts isn’t universally rare (there are only dozens, after all) so who could blame Taneleer Tivan for his curiosity? Maybe he’s just a serious Arrested Development fan, too. Or the most exciting answer, albeit the least likely: what if the creators of Arrested Development planned to reveal that Tobias was an alien the entire time? An alien species that they, somehow, deduced already existed in the eventual MCU?
Would it make sense? Of course not. Will Infinity War see his capture explained? Not a chance. But stranger things have happened. And perhaps the famous claim that “#ItsAllConnected” extends far beyond Marvel heroes and villains.