Whether or not it was engineered that way (it was), the Avengers: Endgame title has been the source of much fan-related controversy. The title wasn’t formally revealed until last December’s trailer. Before then, the Russo brothers dropped cryptic clues and a denial (to UPROXX’s Mike Ryan) that Endgame was actually the title. Not only that, but Doctor Strange (to Tony Stark) and Tony Stark (to Steve Rogers) mention the word “endgame” in two previous MCU films, and Mark Ruffalo bleep-leaked something to Jimmy Fallon. Yet as it turns out, the real culprits were Paul Rudd and Seth Meyers on June 28, 2018.
This clip is making the rounds now thanks to an eagle-eyed Reddit user in light of recent comments by Kevin Feige that we’ll detail in a moment. Rudd was on hand with Meyers to promote the palate-cleansing Ant-Man and the Wasp, which provided a much needed burst of humor after half the universe bit the dust. The above clip picks up after Rudd mentioned being careful about spoilers for the overall MCU while talking about his film, which leads to this grinning interaction between the two men:
Seth Meyers: “I don’t know how that could mess up, though, because I feel like that would make more people see the movie, which is the endgame.”
Paul Rudd: “You know what? You’re right.”
Yup, they flat-out told everyone what the title was, and no one picked up on it. The timeline adds up because a recent Collider interview with Feige indicates that the Endgame title was pinpointed before Infinity War began production and was considered a major spoiler by Marvel Studios:
“Well, I think I’d said that it all had gotten blown out of proportion to some extent. But 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 Ultron.”
Indeed, in Age of Ultron, Tony Stark said, “A hostile alien army came charging through a hole in space. We’re standing three hundred feet below it. We’re the Avengers. We can bust arms dealers all the live long day but that, up there, that’s the endgame.” That’s some hefty foreshadowing, so the title has been dancing around out there for several years, but Seth Meyers and Paul Rudd, silly old Ant-Man himself, totally made it explicit last summer.