Much has been made of the fact that the Russo Brothers borrowed the title of Avengers: Endgame from a particularly cryptic line of dialogue in Infinity War (and lied about it!), but until recently, the fact that the same word also appears in Avengers: Age of Ultron has generally gone unnoticed. However, as a new theory points out, the connection between Endgame and Ultron could be even more important. It might even spell the return of the robotic villain.
Here’s the dialogue from Age of Ultron where “endgame” comes up (first spotted by redditor /u/dafsjgf):
ROBERT DOWNEY, JR.: (As Tony Stark/Iron Man) Recall that? A hostile alien army came charging through a hole in space. We’re standing 300 feet below it. We’re the Avengers. We can bust arms dealers all the live-long day, but that up there, that’s - that’s the endgame. How were you guys planning on beating that?
CHRIS EVANS: (As Steve Rogers/Captain America) Together.
DOWNEY, JR: We’ll lose.
EVANS: Then we’ll do that together too.
So, first of all, the Avengers seem to have a thing for saying the word “endgame,” which makes sense when you consider that most movies end with them saving the world from total destruction. That said, just like Dr. Strange’s use of the word in Infinity War seemed to strongly indicate where the upcoming movie was headed, the word’s appearance in Ultron might also be a big clue.
Or not. After all, Joss Whedon was famously averse to the whole universe-building focus that Marvel pushed on him. So unless studio execs somehow knew what Avengers 4 would be called and then forced that word into the script of this 2015 movie, it’s probably just a coincidence. But on the very slim chance that it’s not, let’s take a closer look. Because the rabbit hole is about to go a lot deeper.
Redditor u/dafsjgf suggests that those words indicate that Iron Man and Captain America will lose (meaning they’ll die) in the fight against Thanos, which makes sense since both of their contracts are set to expire after Endgame. Watching these two frenemy superheroes go out guns blazing side-by-side would be an epic way to end their decade-long journey with Marvel.
However, as Screen Rant points out, Tony’s “endgame” speech is part of an argument to validate his creation of Ultron in the first place. So does that mean Iron Man plans to bring back Ultron in an effort to defeat Thanos? Maybe he even uses Ultron to survive his doomed space flight back home after the events of Infinity War. Probably not, but maybe.
Screen Rant further points out that one piece of concept art (above) from an Infinity War teaser video that never made it into the actual movie shows Tony Stark in front of what looks like a bunch of new Iron Legion robots. Assuming this idea makes it into Endgame, that would be the perfect scenario for the Avengers to revive Ultron so he can command a robot army in the fight against Thanos.
Then again, we’d like to think Iron Man has grown enough in the last few movies to realize he can’t solve all his problems with a powerful robot army, but then again, knowing Tony Stark, we wouldn’t count on it.
Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26, 2019.
Related video: Watch the first trailer for what could be the last Marvel movie featuring Tony Stark.