Much has been made about the length of Avengers: Endgame, which runs a little over three hours, but the editorial process on the highly anticipated Marvel Studios movie has been unique. Indeed, when it comes to editing most films, the “director’s cut”—which is the director’s first pass at cutting together the movie in rough form—is usually longer than what the final cut ends up being. But according to Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo, their director’s cut of the Infinity War sequel was actually shorter than the end result.
Collider’s own Steve Weintraub spoke with the Russo Brothers at the press day for Avengers: Endgame, and Joe Russo revealed that the cut of the film hasn’t changed much at all since their first pass:
“We’ve been working on this movie for well over a year in editorial because we finished it in 2018, and it literally hasn’t moved maybe more than two minutes from its original runtime on the director’s cut. It’s just a tough one. There’s just a lot of story in it. We like emotional stakes that require screentime.”
In fact, the Russo Brothers recall that their first cut was actually slightly shorter than the final cut:
“We have almost everything in this movie that we shot… I think [our first cut] was slightly shorter than this.”
When it comes to deleted scenes, then, the Russo Brothers said there won’t be much to look at. While they hadn’t yet gone into editorial to assess all the cut footage just yet at the time of this interview, they estimated the length of deleted scenes will run closer to five minutes than 10. So rest assured knowing that when you sit through all three hours of Avengers: Endgame later this month, you’ll be seeing almost every piece of footage that was shot for the culminating MCU event film.