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This is why ‘Avengers: Endgame’ had to be over three hours long

Avengers Endgame runtime

When it was revealed last week that Avengers: Endgame is officially going to be the longest Marvel movie at just over three hours, the news predictably garnered a wave of headlines. All of which essentially boiled down to general amazement at the length, with the inclusion of jokes about settling in for a while, because oh my god this is going to be a long movie. And so on.

If Endgame sounds unnecessarily long to you, though, at least you can rest assured that the filmmakers have detailed a pretty good reason for why it has to be so long. And the reason is basically — you.

In an interview with Total Film magazine, the Russo brothers make it clear they always suspected the final film in the Avengers saga would be a doozy, length-wise. “It’s 10 years of one of the greatest experiments in movie history coming to a close, and you know, it’s an epic narrative that’s fitting right around three hours,” Joe Russo said.

Endgame screenwriter Christopher Markus chimed in, noting that you’re pretty much guaranteed an epic, expansive piece of cinema when you’re trying to tie up storylines from more than 20 movies. By his math, we’ve also already sat through some 44 hours of MCU movie magic, so the assumption is that there aren’t really any fans out there super-intent on the filmmakers getting Endgame over with in a jiffy. We’ve all invested so much at this point.

“It always felt like this was not a movie that you should cut stuff out of for efficiency,” Markus said in the interview. “…I don’t think there’s anybody there who’s like, ‘OK, I’ve got to get out of there in 85 minutes, I want a nice, quick wrap-up.’ You’ve earned a long, satisfying, conclusion to the story you tell. So I don’t think there was anybody who wanted to trade it out for a speedy box-office. Even watching it, it doesn’t feel like a slog.”

That’s good news, and of course jives with the sense we’d already been getting from cast members who’ve described the movie as packing an emotional wallop in addition to the length of the story. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Chris Evans described the final day of shooting as “surprisingly emotional.”

No surprise, fans can’t wait for the movie to arrive on April 26. For just one measure of why that’s the case, consider that ticketing site Fandango declared yesterday that the movie smashed the company’s all-time single-day record for ticket sales. And the wait is almost over.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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