In the same way that our favorite Avengers will travel back in time in Endgame to prevent the decimation that occurred at the hands of Thanos in Infinity War, we travelled back in time to scoop up a huge potential spoiler for the upcoming fourth Avengers movie. Well, we went back in time virtually, and that’s because the internet never forgets. That’s right, people who worked on previous MCU movies said something that seemed innocuous enough at the time. But the same information carries new weight several years and MCU movies later, and context is obviously key.
If all this sounds familiar, that’s because it happened before. The most notable example concerns the new Spider-Man movie. A Sony exec told us all the way back when Homecoming premiered in 2017 that Far From Home will start minutes after Avengers 4 ends. That statement meant little at the time, but that was before Spider-Man died in Infinity War. Needless to say, that means he’ll somehow be resurrected.
Guiding us in this digital excursion through time was Reddit user mjsbullitt, who pointed us to an excerpt from a Hollywood Reporter article from early November 2016. If you think that’s a strange time, then you’re absolutely right. That’s because it’s when Doctor Strange premiered.
What the interview tells us is that Marvel Boss Kevin Feige’s influence was crucial for one of the best scenes in the film, the final confrontation between Strange and Dormammu. Of course, I’m talking about Strange’s ability to wield the Time Stone, which we didn’t know was a Time Stone back then, to create a time loop where Strange and Dormammu would be trapped until the end of time, so to speak, or until Strange got his way.
So what did Feige do for that movie that might prove to be crucial for Endgame? He was in the room when they developed the whole time loop concept for the Eye of Agamotto. Here’s what screenwriter Jon Spaihts said in the interview at the time, when he was asked how he came up with the time loop scene for the film’s finale:
It’s one of the sequences I’m most proud of, and there was a version not very different from what you see in the first draft. I was able to come back at the end of the project and do some more work to help bring the movie home and refine that still further. But I think the seed of the idea actually came from Kevin Feige in the room. We were trying to figure out how that final battle could go, and Kevin was focused on his long play with the Eye of Agamotto and the role it’s going to play in his grand design in the cinematic universe — very focused on Strange’s manipulation of time. It was Kevin Feige in the room who said, “Could he trap him in time?” And that led me to write the sequence that you see.
Again, those comments seemed innocent at the time, because we had no idea half of the heroes would die at the end of Infinity War less than two years later.
The fact that Feige wanted a way to have Strange trap people in time may be very telling for Endgame. Reddit user mjsbullitt linked this old interview in response to a recent fan theory from Reddit that we talked about a few weeks ago. The gist of that theory was that the spells Strange uses in Infinity War on Titan to go through more than 14 million outcomes is reminiscent of the time loop spell from Doctor Strange. The Titan battle, in other words, may all happen in some elaborate loop that would give other characters time to defeat Thanos.
Other theories that followed also suggested that time loops might be included in Strange’s plan to send the Time and Space Stones to Tony Stark in the future, so he can study them, replicate the Infinity Gauntlet, and ultimately kill Thanos. The time loop would be required to ensure that Stark has enough time to develop the new weapon while making sure that Thanos still gets the stones and goes forward with the snap.
In conclusion, we already know there’s going to be time travel in Endgame. It now appears that a time loop of some sort may also be in the cards for the movie.