Once the official title of Avengers: Endgame was announced last December, fans quickly looked back through Marvel Studios’ history both on and off the screen and found multiple examples of the “Endgame” subtitle being subtly teased.
The most obvious example of the word’s prior use was in last year’s Avengers: Infinity War, when Doctor Strange told Tony Stark right before he died, “We’re in the endgame now.” Before that, Stark himself refers to Thanos’ “hostile alien army” as “the endgame” in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. But go back even further, and you’ll find that Benedict Cumberbatch actually had the scoop before the MCU even existed. Well, kind of.
A new photo has emerged showing a University of Manchester mug that displays a 1999 quote from the drama graduate, who offered these words of wisdom:
“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame.”
We know Marvel Studios likes to plan ahead, but this is really something else. Perhaps those time travel theories have it right after all.
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Joking aside, while Cumberbatch isn’t confirmed to return in next month’s release, Strange has still been mentioned in a whole load of fan theories for the film. Between the scene where Stephen witnesses 14,000,605 futures, and his aforementioned “endgame” line, it’s generally assumed that the doctor has set a plan in motion that will ensure the Snap’s reversal.
On top of that, thanks an inadvertent spoiler dropped by Tom Holland last year, we can be pretty sure that Cumberbatch has filmed some footage for Avengers: Endgame where he delivers lines about the Quantum Realm. We’ll find out how this mysterious place fits into the late hero’s plan when the film hits theaters on April 26th.