Director Joe Russo Explains Why AVENGERS: ENDGAME is 3-Hours Long and Says They've Had The Best Test Screenings Ever
“Whatever it takes” and it’s going to take 3 hours and 2 minutes to tell the story for Avengers: Endgame, which will bring a close to The Infinity Saga.
I’m totally cool with sitting in a theater for over three hours to watch this movie! I’m sure that when the credits roll and the movie ends, I will have wished there would have been more!
No one seems to be complaining that Avengers: Endgame is so long, but if you’re wondering why they broke the three-hour mark for this movie, director Joe Russo told BoxOfficePro that this film has been "very specific in its run time," and says that it hasn't really changed since 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.”
This is just one of those movie that required that kind of run time to tell the full and complete story that they wanted to tell. Joe went on to talk about their editing process and how when they worked in TV, they had to edit the story down into half-hour segments. They called it "the Russo path" and explained that they edited the script down to the point that it was so dense audiences would miss some of the jokes and have to watch the episode again.
They approached their Marvel movies the same way and also explained that the test screenings for Avengers: Endgame were the best that they’ve ever had:
“We try to create a density in storytelling that makes them feel compulsive, irrespective of the length. We’re very rigorous about storytelling points, and we spend months in the edit room twisting and turning the narrative a bunch of different ways until we think we’ve unlocked the best one. We’re vigilant about using test audiences to tell us whether we’re on the right track or we’re making bad decisions. With Endgame, it had one of the most incredible audience responses in Marvel history. Irrespective of the length, it’s been consistently embraced by the test audiences.”
That’s great and exciting to hear! Test audiences can be brutal towards movies, so the fact that Endgame has the best test screenings of all the Marvel movies is saying something.
The movie is expected to explode at the Box Office on opening weekend with over $800 million dollars, which would be incredible! The movie hits theaters on April 26th!