Avengers: Endgame's Title Explained - This Is Doctor Strange's Plan

Avengers Age of Ultron Tony Stark

The Endgame Title Was Teased In Avengers: Age of Ultron

Directors Anthony and Joe Russo played a coy game in the seven months between Avengers: Infinity War's release and the arrival of the trailer for Avengers: Endgame. When fans theorized that the fourth Avengers movie would be titled Endgame, the Russos insisted that the title wasn't spoken aloud at any point in Infinity War, and further insisted that no one had correctly guessed it yet. Whether they changed their minds about the title or whether they were just, well, lying, the Marvel Cinematic Universe actually planted a reference to an "endgame" scenario well before Doctor Strange brought it up in Infinity War.

Related: Avengers 4's Trailer May Debunk Time Jump Theory

In Avengers: Age of Ultron, after Ultron's initial escape from Avengers Tower, the other Avengers confront Tony about the fact that he (as Bruce Banner puts it) created a murderbot. Tony stands defiant, saying that he was trying to develop a real system of planetary defense that could stand up against something like the Chitauri invasion. "We're the Avengers," Tony says. "We can bust arms dealers all the live long day, but that up there... that's the endgame." Whether intentional or otherwise (Age of Ultron was directed by Joss Whedon, not the Russos), this scene is actually perfect foreshadowing for Infinity War and Endgame. When Tony asks the others how they were planning on stopping another alien invasion, Cap replies simply, "Together." Tony tells him that they'll lose, and Cap retorts, "Then we'll do that together too."

The Russo Brothers Revealed The Title In A Behind-the-Scenes Photo

Thanos and Avengers 4 Endgame Title Tease

As the months ticked on with still no title reveal, many fans wondered what the purpose was behind all the secrecy. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige admitted as early as April 2018 that the decision not to reveal the title had "backfired," and that the original intention had simply been to keep all the focus on Infinity War in the lead-up to its release. So, why continue to keep it a secret for the rest of the year?

One possibility is that the studio and directors genuinely hadn't settled on a title at the time of Infinity War's release (for a while Avengers 4 was strongly rumored to be called Annihilation, not Endgame), and didn't want to commit until they were certain. The other possibility is simply that it served as a free source of hype, with fans feverishly trying to work out the title based on the hints and clues offered.

In a behind-the-scenes photo that came pretty close to driving the entire Marvel fandom insane, the Russo brothers showed an oddly specific positioning of lighting and equipment that, they hinted, contained some kind of clue to Avengers 4. Fans quickly dove into a deep investigation of this photo, trying to find hidden clues and mapping out possible words in the composition, but the most compelling theories were those that picked out the word "ENDGAME" from the arrangement of items in the photo. If this really was intentional, and not just some kind of mass Rorschach test, then it indicates that the rumors of Marvel and the Russos struggling to settle on a title are misleading, and that Avengers 4 was really called Endgame all along.

More: Avengers: Endgame Trailer Breakdown - 10 Story Reveals & Secrets You Missed

Key Release Dates
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
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