Avengers: Endgame’s Joe Russo explains reason for long runtime

Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo explained why his upcoming film will become the longest film in Marvel Cinematic Universe history.

Avengers: Endgame will soon become the next Marvel Cinematic Universe film to hit theaters. Following the events of Avengers: Infinity War, the surviving heroes will look to defeat Thanos and see if their friends can return.

Endgame will become an experience unlike any other in the MCU. Not only for the story and its placement as the end of an 11-year run of movies, but the incredible runtime of three hours, two minutes or 182 minutes.

Why push this as the longest film in MCU history? Co-director Joe Russo explained to Box Office Pro, the runtime was apparent from the first cut, and while he does not like extensive movies, it was “difficult wrapping up 10 years of storytelling.”

“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.”

That means moviegoers are in for quite the journey, as Joe and Anthony Russo and end one story and potentially create another, which will open the MCU’s Phase Four and Spider-Man: Far From Home set to kick it off in July 2019.

A long runtime means ample moments for Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and others in their potential last ride. Black Widow will appear again, but possibly in a prequel. Either way, all remaining heroes have the chance to tell their story one last time for the passionate MCU fans that will flock to theaters worldwide.

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The action arrives on Friday, April 26, when Avengers: Endgame hits theaters. Highlighted by a record runtime, it should become an experience unlike any other.