When the final Avengers film for Phase III was revealed back in October of 2014, fans were surprised and delighted to discover it was actually a two-part film. Marvel CEO Kevin Feige said the script was too big to fit into one movie, so "Avengers: Infinity War" would be "Part 1" and "Part 2." When the Russo brothers were brought on board to direct, conflicting messages about the film's names came with them. In the end, the first film was Avengers: Infinity War, as originally announced, though missing the "Part 1". Is Avengers 4 called End Game? If an accidental CV update is anything to go by, then yes.
Accidental CV updates have been the lifeblood of speculation for TV shows, with more than one Game of Thrones character revealed by an over-excited PR person updating their client's resume. But this is the first time it's happened in the movie industry in a while. According to Esquire, over the weekend Trent Opaloch, the cinematographer who has served in this position on every Joe & Anthony Russo directed Marvel film to date, added a new entry to his online resume for Avengers 4. Except, instead of titling it Avengers 4: No, You Don't Get To Know The Title Yet, Quit Asking, he put something that sounded like the real deal.
Avengers: End Game.
To make matters worse, the moment it got out, someone changed it so it now just reads Avengers 4. Because that totally doesn't look guilty.
Here's the problem: The title is based on a line in the film Avengers: Infinity War. Spoken by Dr. Strange, the line is:
There was no other way. We’re in the end game now.
Fans have been theorizing since the film arrived Strange was not telling everything he knew. When he sat down and saw all 14 million (and six) different outcomes with the Time Stone, he said there was only one where the Avengers would win. According to the theory, what he didn't tell Stark and the others is the one timeline where they won would first require them to lose there on the planet, and for half the universe to be destroyed. That's why he handed over the Time Stone so easily.
Marvel refuses to reveal the title to Avengers 4 because it's supposedly a spoiler. "End Game" certainly fits the bill, and would cause fans to feel as if the Dr. Strange theory was correct.
So where's the problem? The Russo Brothers specifically said unequivocally the title for Avengers 4 is not a line spoken in Infinity War.
In an interview back in May of this year, just after the film was released, the Russos were asked in an interview with UpRoxx, point blank, if the Avengers 4 title was drawn from something said in Infinity War.
Is the title of the fourth Avengers ever spoken in Infinity War?
Joe Russo: No.
Anthony Russo: It’s certainly grounded in the narrative that we have been following throughout the MCU – very well grounded…
The interviewer, Mike Ryan, took to Twitter today and added an extra context detail where he had given the Russos an out in answering the question.
So could the Russos be lying? Of course.
Also a possibility: The Russos didn't want to title the film End Game, but for marketing reasons or otherwise lost the battle. It wouldn't be the first time. Back in 2016, the Russos wanted to change both titles of the Avengers films, going as far to insist both films would be renamed. But in the end, the only change to Avengers: Infinity War was dropping the "Part 1" from the title.
Hopefully, the Russos will reveal the title soon, and put the whole debate to bed. Until then, Avengers 4: Could Be Called End Game, Could Be Called Something Else arrives in theaters on May 3, 2019.