The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a staggeringly impressive achievement, a blockbuster franchise of unparalleled ambition which has successfully brought together Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Captain America and countless other special guests into one collective cinematic world. Back in 2008, when Iron Man kicked off the whole shindig, could many of us have foreseen The Avengers grossing $1.5 billion and becoming the third-highest-grossing film of all time? The success of the MCU is certainly in part down to luck, but it's also hugely because of the clever creative decisions made by Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and those most intimately associated with casting, writing and directing and, of course, the actors themselves. However, we came close to some pretty calamitous decisions in all these regards, ones that may well have affected the MCU's popularity sufficiently such that we may never have even had an Avengers movie to begin with. Thankfully, logic and good taste prevailed in the end, though it's terrifying (and in some cases, totally hilarious) to imagine the disasters we could have been saddled with. What do you think of these 20 almost-decisions that could have derailed the MCU entirely? Or do you think any of them might have actually worked? Let us know in the comments!