Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige explains why the title of Avengers: Endgame was considered a spoiler. The fourth Avengers movie was initially titled Infinity War: Part Two when it was first announced in 2014. However, years before 2018's Infinity War released, Marvel changed the movie's title and kept the new name a secret from the public. The reason for Endgame's secrecy was explained away by saying it would give away too much of Infinity War's plot.
Yet even after Infinity War was out in theaters and became a huge success at the box office, Marvel still played coy. This led to a ton of extra speculation on what Avengers 4 would be titled and even resulted in the false leak that the movie would be subtitled Annihilation. Now, Feige has revealed the real reason the studio played things so close to chest with Endgame and it's relatively simple.
In an interview with Collider, Feige was asked directly about why the decision was made to keep Endgame's title such a secret. In his answer, Feige explained that the amount of speculation over Endgame was overblown and fans made much more of a big deal about the movie's title than was necessary. However, Feige still believes the title was a spoiler and Marvel was right to keep the name a secret. He explained:
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 [Age of] Ultron.
Feige's explanation does wipe away a lot of the mystique and mystery around Endgame at least as far the title is concerned. If the title of Endgame was known before Infinity War, it likely would've impacted much of the excitement for the film as many viewers would've believed that the next movie would be the proper conclusion. It's true that some of the audience still felt that way knowing Avengers 4 was originally Infinity War: Part Two, but it's likely that many moviegoers were unaware or forgot the original title while watching Infinity War. By keeping Endgame's title a secret, Marvel was at least able to create the illusion that the third Avengers movie didn't end on a cliffhanger even if that's not exactly the case.
An equally interesting aspect of Feige's answer, though, is that it confirms Endgame has always been the title to Avengers 4. When Avengers 4's title was first announced, many fans took note of a particular line of Doctor Strange in Infinity War. When a group of Avengers led by Tony Stark fail to defeat Thanos towards the end of the movie, Strange tells Iron Man that they're in the endgame now. However Screen Rant noticed that the word "endgame" was first used by Stark himself in Age of Ultron. In Ultron, Iron Man referred to a powerful alien invasion, like the Chitauri from the first Avengers, as the endgame for the world. Obviously Thanos and his life-snuffing snap represents the realization of Tony's fears.
If Endgame's title was revealed before Infinity War, it would've ruined not only the shock ending of that movie but colored some of these seeds from other movies. On its own, the word "endgame" isn't too significant. It has no connection to an obvious Avengers storyline and it's relatively popular piece of nomenclature. If Marvel had announced Endgame's title at the same time they announced Infinity War, fans would've been searching for every crumb they could to decipher its meaning and turned into a huge distraction. It's possible that Marvel Studios kept Avengers: Endgame a secret for too long, but it was the right decision to keep it a secret.
- 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