Marvel Studios officially unveiled the long-guarded Avengers 4 title Friday with the release of the first Avengers: Endgame trailer, but the title was inadvertently leaked over the summer.
As we reported in June, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 cinematographer Trent Opaloch — who collaborated with directors Anthony and Joe Russo on Captain America sequels The Winter Soldier and Civil War — updated his personal filmography, where he outed the Infinity War sequel as “Endgame.” Opaloch later updated his resume again, stripping the subtitle and re-listing it as simply “Avengers 4.”
The Russos previously appeared to hint at the true title in September when they released a cryptic image that seemed to construct the word “Endgame” from mundane items in a behind-the-scenes photo.
In October, a Twitter scooper claimed Avengers 4 was titled Avengers: Annihilation, but the film has been titled Endgame since at least June of this year.
Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige admitted in April the secrecy and subsequent hoopla around the Avengers 4 title had gotten “entirely out of hand,” adding the then-unrevealed title would have “no chance to live up to any expectations of what it’s gonna be.”
“And it sort of backfired, if I’m honest with you, because the notion was to not talk about it so the focus was to be on [Infinity War],” he said at the time.
Feige remarked the title was initially held back because Marvel once unintentionally overshadowed Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron — set to open in May 2015 — when the studio unveiled its Phase 3 slate in late 2014, officially announcing Civil War, Black Panther, Infinity War, and Captain Marvel for the years ahead.
“Ultron hadn’t come out at that point and I felt a tiny little sense of, ‘Well, gosh, we’ve gotta talk about the movies we have coming out next because that’s what we’ve been working so hard on and that’s what’s next available for our audience to see,’” Feige said, “but when we talk that far ahead, that took a lot of attention out [of Ultron].”
Joe Russo previously fibbed about the Endgame title, answering “no” when asked if the Avengers 4 subtitle was spoken in Infinity War.
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) mentioned “the endgame” in Ultron before Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) famously said “we’re in the endgame now” in Infinity War when it came to Thanos (Josh Brolin) nearly assembling a complete collection of all six Infinity Stones; when he acquired the coveted final stone, he used the Infinity Gauntlet to obliterate 50% of all living creatures in the universe with a snap of his fingers.
“It’s very hard not to talk about this stuff, because you live with it for so long and you live with it so deeply. We have developed a process where you take pressure off of people by letting them know less,” Anthony Russo said during a recent Q&A when asked about concealing spoilers from even their biggest stars.1comments
“It’s less responsibility they have to edit themselves, so we’ve developed an elaborate process by which we try to only let people know what they absolutely need to know. And it makes a little bit easier for them to edit themselves.”
Avengers: Endgame opens April 26, 2019.