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Mark Ruffalo’s Avengers 4 gag led Marvel’s most dedicated fans to decode audio

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‘I may have spoiled a few things’

Mark Ruffalo is notorious for spoiling Marvel movies during interviews with other cast members, and it’s gotten to the point where everyone wants to make fun of it.

Ruffalo appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to discuss a few of his projects, and the subject of spoilers came up. Ruffalo mentioned that Don Cheadle (War Machine) refused to participate in interviews with him after he accidentally spoiled the ending to Avengers: Infinity War, before diving into a long gag about what happens in Avengers 4. Although the entire gag is a joke, a number of Marvel Cinematic Universe die-hards immediately began running Ruffalo’s bleeped audio through programs to try and uncover Avengers 4’s real title.

Anton Volkov, who owns and operates Trailer Track, ran Ruffalo’s audio through an editing program, removing the bleep to try and figure out the title. His best guess was Avengers: The Last Avenger. The tweet quickly went viral, with other Marvel fans taking the same initiative.

Volkov’s tweet is by far the most traveled, but he later admitted he probably got the title wrong.

“The whole Fallon segment including the title have all but been confirmed as a joke skit,” Volkov tweeted. “The Last Avenger is extremely unlikely to be the real title.”

He wasn’t too surprised the tweet traveled, though. Volkov told Polygon via Twitter DM that Marvel fandom has saturated to the point that this is just part of the norm.

“If anything I was surprised that more people seemed to be seriously entertaining the idea about that being the title, despite even mentioning that it may not be the real one when I posted the edited audio clips,” Volkov told Polygon. “We’ve gotten to the point of people attempting to read Ruffalo’s lips in the video footage! If anything it’s all just a fascinating curiosity.”

That didn’t stop the discussion online. Other titles also started circulating almost immediately.

People cited reading Ruffalo’s lips even though the audio was bleeped out, bringing up titles like Avengers: Annihilation, based on the comic book series of the same name. Jeremy Conrad, a popular MCU blogger and trusted source among fans, reportedly spoke to a source who confirmed the Annihilation title, but Marvel hasn’t said anything.

There is no definitive answer yet, and there likely won’t be for a couple more weeks. The first trailer for Avengers 4 should appear in a month or so (based on the timeline for when Avengers: Infinity War’s first trailer appeared), meaning the official title will be announced in the coming weeks.

Until then, the rest of the Avengers crew are having fun with Ruffalo. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo jokingly tweeted at Ruffalo to let him know he was fired (one job can only allow so many screw-ups).

“Guys ... can we talk about this?” Ruffalo responded.

Regardless of whether the title is Avengers: Annihilation or Avengers: The Last Avenger or Avengers: Avengers Clap Back (never say never!), all will be answered in just over a month, hopefully. Volkov thinks it will be sooner rather than later.

“[There’s] actual apparent intel going around, and [with] this Fallon skit even being done in the first place, I think many would agree it has gotten a bit overboard,” he said.

Avengers 4 will be released on May 3, 2019.

Update: The story has been updated to include comments from Anton Volkov.