Yes, it’s true. Avengers: Endgame is three hours long, making it the longest Marvel movie to date. You’d have to be living under a rock to have not heard some rumblings about that fact. And, according to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, it’s the least interesting thing about this conclusion to Marvel’s first 10-plus years of films.
“I think it’s gotten more press than it than it should,” Feige told io9 this weekend. “I think running time is the least interesting thing about a movie.”
Feige noted that it’s not interesting because that type of conversation only “leads to interpretation.” He continued, “If we’d announced that the movie was one hour and 50 minutes there probably would have been an equal amount of press and discussion.”
So why the length? What does it say about the movie?
“What I’ve always said is a movie is as long as it should be,” Feige said. “And we are not fans of overindulging movies. We are not fans of laborious lengths for no reason. We are fans of movies that you wish didn’t end. Movies that you want to see again as soon as it’s over. And movies that you just don’t ever find a good time to run out to the bathroom. That’s when a movie’s working. And if a movie doesn’t feel like that to us we continue to trim, we continue to shape, we continue to bring that time down.
That happened to a certain extent on this movie. But we got to a point where it feels very exciting and goes by very quickly and in the end is the perfect length. And everybody that saw the movie felt the same way.”
Both Joe and Anthony Russo, who directed Endgame, and Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who wrote it, agree; they told io9 that the movie warrants the length. Both sets of creators feel the movie is almost exactly how they planned it.
“We cut very little,” Anthony Russo said. “Since these movies are so complex, we want to get it right in the script. We want the script to be exactly what we’re going to shoot. And we do spend a lot of time with [Markus and McFeely] kicking the tires on the script and beating it up. Of course, there’s always the discovery process, but at the end of the day I think our director’s cut of Endgame was within two minutes of what the current cut is.”
“It is, very satisfyingly, everything the movie needs,” Markus said. “Like there’s nothing [where] I go, ‘Boy there’s a logic jump there.’” “Or, ‘If we’d kept that one scene it would have solved everything,’” added McFeely. “There’s nothing like that.” “It’s a tight three hours,” finished Markus. “Weirdly.”
Avengers: Endgame opens April 24, and we’ll soon have more from our interviews with producer Kevin Feige, directors Joe and Anthony Russo, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.