We’ve been hearing for months now that the upcoming Avengers: Endgame sits at a runtime of about 3 hours in its current form, and going by recent comments from co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo, the pair have yet to edit the movie down much further.
The highly anticipated Avengers: Infinity War sequel looks to have more on its plate in terms of plot and characters than any other Marvel movie to date. Juggling an overwhelming number of superheroes from across the saga’s history, it’s expected that the film will not only resolve the cliffhanger of Infinity War, but also wrap up the multi-movie arcs of a few MCU regulars while paving the way for the events of Marvel’s next phase. In short, Endgame may need all the runtime it can get, but in an interview with Collider, the Russos noted that a 3-hour movie is currently feeling quite possible.
“I think the studio is down with what the best story is. Right now, we think the movie is playing well and we’ve had great responses from our test audiences and we’re feeling very good about where it is. We’re still doing work to it. We’re not done with it. Again, this is a culmination film of 22 movies, it’s a lot of storytelling to work into it. Emotion is an intrinsic part of that to us. When you have to tell a really complicated story and you want strong emotional moments with the characters, it just requires a certain amount of real estate. This one, in particular, feels like three hours worth of real estate.”
As the commercial success of such franchise fare as The Lord of the Rings has made clear, filmgoers are perfectly willing to take a chance on movies of this length if the material intrigues them enough, and going by the current hype around Endgame, a 3-hour runtime will hardly be enough to put off most fans, with many likely to relish the extra content.
As for whether the film may offer an intermission, Anthony Russo has argued that a halftime break probably won’t be necessary:
“We have screened the movie four times for audiences now. For the first three screenings, not a single person got up to go to the bathroom.”
Of course, there’s still time for the feature to be trimmed down, but based on all that the Russos have said here, it’s at least looking pretty inevitable that Avengers: Endgame will be the MCU’s lengthiest movie yet, in which case, you can judge for yourself if the film has earned its hefty runtime when it hits theaters on April 26th, 2019.