Following the release of Avengers: Infinity War in April 2018, fans spent months speculating about what the title for the fourth and final installment in the superhero franchise might be. But it turned out that directors Anthony and Joe Russo had told us the name of the upcoming film in the final moments of Avengers: Infinity War.
“We’re in the end game now,” Doctor Strange said before the battle on Titan during Infinity War.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recently revealed that Avengers producers included the title in Infinity War on purpose. “It was in place before we started developing the movie. Or just as we were developing it,” Feige said. “So Doctor Strange says that line because we knew it was the title.”
While the name was a surprise to many fans when it was announced in December, some dedicated MCU viewers had predicted the title of the fourth movie as soon as the words “end game” left Doctor Strange’s mouth. In fact, Avengers: Endgame was one of the most popular predicted titles ahead of the official announcement in December.
In addition to the instance in which Doctor Strange utters “end game,” there are actually a few other examples of MCU characters using the phrase throughout the last 10 years of Marvel movies, according to CinemaBlend.
It’s fitting, however, that Doctor Strange would ultimately be the character to foreshadow the name of the next movie, as he is the only Avenger to use the Time Stone in order to preview the millions of ways in which the conflict with Thanos could end. Later in the scene, Doctor Strange ends up handing over the Time Stone to Thanos after The Mad Titan stabs Iron Man in the chest—a choice we hope is explained further once Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26, 2019.
This article also appears on Mental Floss.