View Full Version : Avengers: Endgame’s Joe Russo on 3hr runtime: “Emotion requires story real estate

April 2nd, 2019, 16:59
Avengers: Endgame opens in just a couple of weeks, and if I could give a tip to anybody that’s going to see it (which should be everybody), it would be this: Avoid the sodas. The greatly-anticipated culmination of the past 10 years worth of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, Endgame was recently confirmed to boast a bladder-bursting runtime of 3 hours 2 minutes! Of course, we had known about this runtime a while back already, (https://www.criticalhit.net/entertainment/avengers-endgame-boasting-a-massive-3-hour-runtime/) but that was while the film was still in post-production. Usually some time spent in the editing room would drop that number down.
However, talking to BoxOfficePro (https://www.boxofficepro.com/avengers-endgame-joe-russo-mcu-interview/)in an extensive interview, Joe Russo – who co-directed Endgame and its precursor Avengers: Infinity War with his brother Anthony – explained that a movie this epic in scale required a runtime to match.

We went through the pain and effort to shoot both Infinity War and Endgame in IMAX, so they’ve been shot in incredible scale. I think they’re two of the biggest movies ever made from a character standpoint and from a visual standpoint. The scale is tremendous.
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.

It’s not just about the size of the cast and the scale of the action though (though that certainly adds to it), but also about how Endgame is bringing full circle some stories that began a full decade ago. And as the audience reactions to Infinity War’s devastating ending proved, there’s a lot of emotion in that.

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.
Joe and Anthony Russo burst onto the superhero blockbuster scene with Captain America: Winter Soldier and then Captain America: Civil War before tackling these two Avengers movies. Long before they were ever involved with all that MCU storytelling though, they had only really been known for their work on TV comedy series like Arrested Development and Community. You would think that made them unlikely picks, for these gigs but their early work actually prepared the Russos for these massive productions.


April 19th, 2019, 18:13
Can't wait for the Avenger 4!