Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo say the blockbuster finale was originally called Infinity Gauntlet for “quite a long time.”
“Well, it was Infinity Gauntlet for a long time,” Joe said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast.
When promoting their two-part Avengers, the directing duo were confronted with a dreary realization birthed out of a line shared between Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in the preceding Infinity War.
“When we went to Korea to promote this movie, the representatives from Disney there came up to us and said, ‘Um, there’s something we need to tell you. In the translation of Infinity War here in Korea, when Doctor Strange says to Tony, ‘We’re in the endgame now,’ the way we translated that here was ‘no hope,’” Anthony said.
“So we’re like, ‘Oh, so I guess in Korea, is this movie called ‘Avengers: No Hope?’” Added Joe, “But Infinity Gauntlet was the title for quite a long time, actually.”
Gamora star Zoe Saldana let slip the then-secret Avengers 4 title as far back as September 2017, when she told the BBC, “We’re in the middle of it. I think that the Guardians just shot their part when it comes to Infinity War’s, like, the first part. And we all have to go back for Gauntlet later this year.”
Both films borrowed from Thanos creator Jim Starlin’s comic book sagas Infinity War and Infinity Gauntlet.
The Endgame title would leak in June 2018 when cinematographer Trent Opaloch updated his personal filmography, six months before Marvel Studios officially unveiled the Endgame title in the final seconds of the film’s premiere trailer in December 2018.
The secrecy of the title, once kept closely guarded by Marvel, got “entirely out of hand,” Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige admitted in April 2018 when he said the eventual title had “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, hoping to prevent the same overshadowing that occurred when the Disney-owned studio revealed its blockbuster Phase 3 slate in late 2014.
“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, pointing to the unveilings of Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and the two-part Infinity War.
“But when we talk that far ahead, that took a lot of attention out [of Ultron].”
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