“Avengers: Endgame” is just over two months away from opening nationwide, which means directors Joe and Anthony Russo are getting down to the wire in terms of delivering a final theatrical cut to Disney. In a recent interview with Collider, the brothers confirmed the “Endgame” running time remains at the three-hour mark, which is exactly how long Joe Russo said the film was in November. Editing down “Endgame” any further is proving difficult for the Russo brothers, and luckily Disney doesn’t appear to be demanding a shorter cut.
“I think the studio is down with what the best story is,” Joe Russo said. “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.”
Anthony echoed his brother by saying test screenings of “Endgame” have gone well and have kept the audiences’ attention throughout despite the massive run-time. “We have screened the movie four times for audiences now,” Anthony said. “For the first three screenings, not a single person got up to go to the bathroom.”
If the current three-hour “Endgame” cut is the one used for the movie’s theatrical release, then the movie will be the longest film ever released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Avengers: Infinity War” clocked in at 149 minutes, so “Endgame” would be around 30 minutes longer give or take. A three-hour runtime would make “Endgame” not just a long superhero movie but a long studio tentpole in general. Most studio tentpoles these days range from two hours to 150 minutes. Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049” is one of the longest blockbusters released in years and it had a 163 minute runtime, which would still be around 20 minutes less than a three-hour “Endgame.” Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” ran 169 minutes.
“Avengers: Endgame” opens nationwide April 26.