Now that superhero movies are cock of the walk over in Hollywood, I’m very glad whenever studios don’t mandate that these things must be confined to 90 or 120-minute running times. Hey, some tales can organically accommodate for just that, but whenever the stakes are high or you’re dealing with an ensemble piece, it’s best to afford the narrative ample breathing room.
In the case of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ next cinematic outing, both those requirements will be met, so I’m going in with the expectation of remaining in my seat for a fair amount of time when the saga resumes next spring. Of course, there were reports circulating not long ago saying how a three-hour running time isn’t likely, but now we’re being led to believe otherwise.
You see, while doing a Q&A session at his new bar, Duello, Avengers 4 co-director Joe Russo said the epic does, in fact, currently clock in at three hours, yet was careful to add “we’ll see if that will hold.” In other words, there’s a lot that could change between now and opening weekend.
With the editing process still being an ongoing ordeal, there most definitely exists the possibility of some material being cut and perhaps being saved as bonus content for the inevitable home video release. But like I said earlier, there’s a lot of story to tell in this one, so it’d be best for no unnecessary fat to be trimmed.
In my view, such an impressive running time shouldn’t hurt the box office take, as Infinity War ran for two hours and 40 minutes, and managed to rake in more than $2 billion. Similarly, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises amounted to two hours and 45 minutes back in 2012 when it joined the billion dollar club, thereby making it the highest grossing Batman movie worldwide. Given those two exhibits, I think Marvel’s premier superhero team is safe, regardless.
Avengers 4 arrives in theaters on May 3rd, 2019, and to the shock of nobody, the official countdown clock is already ticking down.