Avengers: Endgame Director Explains Why The Film Is So Long

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While Marvel Studios has yet to offer an official confirmation on the runtime of Avengers: Endgame, it currently feels safe to assume that the film will fall somewhere close to the three-hour mark, making it the longest MCU movie to date by a pretty solid margin.

While some may feel a little daunted by the length, the success of blockbusters like the Lord of the Rings films makes it very clear that the moviegoing public is willing to take a chance on chance on a three-hour flick if the material interests them enough. And in an interview with Box Office Pro, co-director Joe Russo explained that no matter how many edits they make, Endgame seems to naturally tend towards a pretty hefty length.

“We’re still looking at a similar time [approximately three hours]. This one’s been very specific in its run time. It really hasn’t changed since we executed the first cut of the film. Even though we’ve shot a lot of footage between now and then, we’ve swapped things out and the water keeps rising to the same level because the story’s so dense.”

No doubt most Marvel fans will understand where the director is coming from here. After all, Endgame is expected to serve as the culmination point for over a decade of superhero cinema, and as Russo himself says, a work of this scale really needs a runtime to match.

“We have so many characters that we’re working with again that require that kind of run time. My brother and I are really committed to emotional stakes, and emotion requires story real estate. When you have a sprawling plot with a lot of characters and emotional stakes, it requires time to breathe emotionally. On the scale, you’re just going to wind up at a certain run time. We’ve been really hard on the film. We don’t like excessive run times; it’s just very difficult wrapping up 10 years of storytelling.”

As anyone who caught the 32 character posters that emerged earlier this week can tell you, the Avengers: Infinity War sequel is having to juggle a lot of content. As well as showing us how Earth’s Mightiest Heroes go about reversing the snap, it’s expected that the film will resolve the arcs of several series regulars, while also laying the foundations for the future of the MCU.

In an interview with Empire, Scarlett Johansson recently described the film as “a poetic and beautiful Valentine to a decade of madness,” suggesting that the movie will somehow pay tribute to the twenty-one Marvel movies that came before it. In other words, this doesn’t sound like the kind of story that can be told in a tight 90 minutes. But you can judge for yourself if Avengers: Endgame earns its runtime when the film hits theaters on April 26th.

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