Last month saw the reveal of the first trailer for the fourth Avengers movie, bringing with it the official title as well: Avengers: Endgame. It’s a loaded title, too, as the term has been mentioned a couple times previously in the MCU.
Most obviously, Doctor Strange said “we’re in the endgame now” shortly before his death in Avengers: Infinity War. Going further back, Iron Man also used the word in Avengers: Age of Ultron. But it turns out that Robert Downey Jr. actually mentioned the word “Endgame” in conjunction with the MCU first, back during the Ultron press tour.
A clip of the Tony Stark star explaining the evil robot’s origins from a 2015 interview has recirculated online thanks to it being reposted by Twitter user @ImAFilmEditor, and you can check it out below:
Before '@Avengers 2' release, "Endgame" was still in everyone's consciousness. It's a term used by @RobertDowneyJr to express that Ultron would be the key to give the #Avengers a chance to live normal lives. Is the teams' purpose in defeating Thanos the same key? #AvengersEndgame pic.twitter.com/340SoQtwJU
— Vahn (@ImAFilmEditor) January 4, 2019
The Twitter user theorizes that the use of “Endgame” as the Avengers 4 title suggests that defeating Thanos will also be the endgame for the first crop of Avengers, meaning they’ve defended the Earth and the universe against its biggest threat so they can now retire from active hero duty. After all, Downey Jr.’s own Marvel contract is up following Endgame, as is many of his co-stars.
As Downey Jr. says, this interpretation of the title fits with what happens in Ultron. Tony’s driven to create the risky artificial intelligence, as he wants to protect the world from the ultimate threat: those from outer space. Ironically, his actions ultimately caused the breakup of the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War, leaving the planet vulnerable when Thanos attacked in IW.
But can Stark make things right when the endgame finally comes? We’ll find out when Avengers: Endgame arrives on April 26th.