Long before Avengers: Endgame was revealed as the title, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that the title itself was a spoiler, which is why it was kept a secret for so long. Fans, of course, had speculated that Endgame would be the title all along, so it stands to reason that they were underwhelmed by the reveal. Feige recently conceded that perhaps the spoiler aspect of the title was exaggerated, though he admits the evidence has been there since Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Speaking to Collider during a press conference for Captain Marvel, Feige was asked why Endgame’s title wasn’t revealed until the film’s first trailer. Here’s what he had to say:
“Well, I think I’d said that it all had gotten blown out of proportion to some extent. But it was a spoiler, because if you knew before Infinity War came out that the next movie was called Endgame, then you know that there wasn’t an ending to Infinity War. But that had been the title of the movie from the moment we conceived of doing the two films. In large part, because…it’s seeded right there. I mean, it’s seeded in Ultron.”
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And it was, in fact, “seeded in Ultron.” While the rest of the Infinity Stones were scattered throughout the universe, Ultron was able to make use of the Mind Stone because of its location on Earth, no thanks to Loki’s actions in Avengers. Tony Stark, who created Ultron out of the need to protect Earth from future alien attacks, was the first to reference an “endgame” during Age of Ultron. Doctor Strange also references the title in one of the final lines of Infinity War, though the Russo Brothers swore the title wouldn’t come from a line in the previous movie. Now, Feige says its been the title all along, despite all the misdirects.
We can’t help but wonder if Marvel really knew where this was all headed back in the days of Age of Ultron. It’s not impossible, but it seems just as likely that the connection was first noticed by a fan before Marvel caught wind and decided to latch onto the idea.
Marvel’s reluctance to reveal Endgame as the title initially created suspense among fans. After all, before Infinity War, the films were simply being called Avengers 3 and Avengers 4, respectively. These titles made it seem like they would be two standalone films, each with an individual story and conclusion. While the studio never announced the movies would be split into two parts, Endgame and Infinity War were shot back-to-back, implying a connecting storyline.
You have to hand it to Feige, though, whose attempts to keep the title under wraps made Infinity War’s ending a bit more impactful. Had the announcement for Endgame come sooner, perhaps some of the tension and build-up to Thanos’ snap would have been lost. Now that the secret’s out and the film is on the way, the true endgame is (sadly) upon us.
Avengers: Endgame hits theaters April 26, 2019.