'Avengers: Endgame' Writers Say It's Exactly as Long as It Needs to Be

Much has been made about the runtime for Avengers: Endgame. Clocking in at just over three hours, the conclusion to the Infinity Saga will be the longest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe today, prompting fan discussions of how to plan for the need to use the restroom, whether an intermission is in order, or even just to complain about what, for some, feels like just too much. Yet, that three hour runtime isn't a concern for the film's writers. To them, it's exactly as long as it needs to be.

In a new interview with Vulture. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely defended the film's long runtime as being a "lean" three hours.

"It's exactly as long as it needs to be," McFeely said. "Any shorter and it would have felt like we weren't honoring all the threads and franchises that are feeding into this climax. Twenty-two movies in, not only has the movie earned its length, but people deserve a movie of that substance. I swear to God, it sounds like a paradox to say this, but it's a lean three hours!"

McFeely does have a point. Avengers: Endgame is film number 22 in the MCU this far and brings together the end of the story began over a decade ago with Iron Man. That is a lot of ground to cover as well as honor in what has been hyped as an epic conclusion, especially after the audience-stunning ending of Avengers: Infinity War in which, for essentially the first time, the good guys didn't win. Picking back up from that is something that Markus went on to defend as needing the time.

"If we told you the entire universe got snapped out and we were gonna wrap it up in a tight 85, you’d have issues," Markus said.

That sentiment is similar to what Joe Russo, who directed the film with his brother Anthony, said last month about the film's extra-long runtime.

"My brother [Anthony] and I are really committed to emotional stakes, and emotion requires story real estate," Russo said. "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."

We will see just how well that three hour runtime is put to use when Avengers: Endgame premieres in theaters on April 26th.

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