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SYFY WIRE Avengers: Endgame

That time Mark Ruffalo's tendency to spoil Marvel movies actually helped

By Matthew Jackson
Mark Ruffalo in Avengers: Endgame press conference

Mark Ruffalo has a reputation as the guy who's most in danger of spoiling any Marvel Cinematic Universe film he's a part of, and that reputation has followed him to the Avengers: Endgame press tour. As it turns out, though, Ruffalo's tendency to let spoilers slip ended up being a secret superpower at least one time. 

Ruffalo's two most famous spoiler slips arrived in rapid succession in 2017. The first came at that year's D23, when he accidentally said something that basically spoiled the ending of Avengers: Infinity War, tried to walk it back as a joke, and failed. The second came at the premiere of Thor: Ragnarok, when he live-streamed part of his red-carpet appearance, then went into the theater with his phone still streaming in his pocket. His phone streamed audio from the audience as the film played for several minutes, until someone came up and asked him to turn it off. It didn't give away anything major about the film, but anyone listening got a little free exposure to Ragnarok

The original six Avengers stars — Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner — sat down alongside Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recently for a roundtable discussion with Entertainment Weekly, and talk quickly turned to Ruffalo's spoilery reputation. That led to his co-stars declaring the Ragnarok incident his most spoilery moment — Ruffalo calls it "the one that got me the call from up high" — but as Hemsworth pointed out, it actually became a pretty effective piece of guerilla marketing. 

"Wait, wait, that was actually genius! There might be some strategy there, because [the audience] laughed so hard during that [footage]," Hemsworth said. "All [viewers] could hear was laughing. They went, 'It must be good!' ”

Ruffalo confirms that he was indeed greeted as a marketing hero the next time he was on set by none other than Barry Curtis, Marvel Studios' head of security. 

"It sort of turned around on me, because when I came to work on Monday [on the set of Endgame] everyone ran up to me," Ruffalo said. "I thought they were coming to scream at me — Barry, he threw his arms around me. 'That was genius! We got more press than we could have possibly paid for!' "

See? Sometimes it pays to tell the fans a little more than you're supposed to... just don't tell Tom Holland that.

Avengers: Endgame hits theaters April 26.