Though studios tend to be hesitant about letting their franchise blockbusters stray much beyond the two-and-a-half-hour mark, the success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy made it all too clear that exceptions can and should be made, and as the culmination point for over a decade of superhero cinema, Avengers: Endgame looks to be one such case.
Speaking to Collider, co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo recently revealed that the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War sequel sits at 3 hours in its current form, and though some may regard that runtime as a little daunting, it seems that test audiences maintained enough interest in the adventure to ignore the demands of their bladders. While explaining why he doesn’t feel the need to include an intermission in the film, Anthony Russo had this little tidbit to report:
“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.”
It remains to be seen whether Endgame will stay at 3 hours, since the Russos still have a couple more months to trim it down further. But should the feature stay as long as it is, the filmmaking pair believe that both the studio and the audience would be happy with this runtime, telling Collider:
“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.”
Given how much story and how many characters the Russo Brothers are expected to pack into one movie, a 3-hour runtime just might be necessary. Granted, last year’s Infinity War managed to pack a lot of plot into the span of 2 hours and 29 minutes, but the sequel looks to be juggling almost the entire central cast of that film, plus some returning players like Ant-Man, Hawkeye and Valkyrie, not to mention relative newcomer Captain Marvel.
In short, Avengers: Endgame has a lot on its plate, and we’ll see how the Russos fare in handling all this content when the film hits theaters on April 26th, 2019.