It’s not a surprised that Avengers: Endgame will be long. Avengers: Infinity War was two hours and 29 minutes, and that movie ends with the superheroes beaten down and scattered. It will take a follow-up probably at least an hour just to get everyone back together before they can start working to strike back at Thanos. When rumors started popping up that the film was three hours long, I didn’t really blink since that sounded about right, and while three-hour movies are rare, they don’t really phase folks who happily went to three-hour Lord of the Rings movies for three years straight.
While an official runtime has yet to be confirmed, Box Office Pro had a lengthy interview with Endgame co-director Joe Russo, who explained why the film is going to be on the longer side:
“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. 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.”
And that’s fair! Endgame is not your typical movie or even your typical Marvel movie. Yes, the story will continue on and Endgame is another episode in the Marvel TV series, but even Marvel bills Endgame as a culmination. There will likely be another culmination down the line, but for now, Infinity War/Endgame is as big as it gets, so why worry about shaving off a half-hour. The ticket is going to cost the same either way, so let the film be as long as it needs to be to properly tell the story.
Avengers: Engame opens April 26th.