'Avengers 4' Directors Explain Why They Separated It From 'Avengers: Infinity War'

Once upon a time, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 were supposed to be filmed at the same time. The movies were set to feature dozens of the superheroes we've seen in the last decade in various Marvel Cinematic Universe properties and in theory, it'd make sense to just get it all out of the way — right?

Turns out filming the two movies concurrently turned out more difficult than originally thought and Marvel Studios eventually decided to break the movies up and film then back-to-back instead. In a recent Q&A hosted by Collider, Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo said they eventually decided to break the films up because they were "so big and so complex."

"Because these movies are so big and so complex and there are some characters who are involved in both there was an idea we’d mix both movies and do what is called a cross board in a way," Anthony reflected. "But as we started to get closer and deeper into pre-production, everything was so complex and so hard to wrangle just for our own process and I think everybody’s process involved."

"On a creative level, we needed to just separate the two. They’re both two very different movies and we wanted to treat them as very different movies.

To follow-up, Joe then mentioned that three to four months before production started, the decision was eventually made to separate filming on the two movies.

"We started having production meetings that were lasting nine to ten hours because you have to talk about one movie then you have to talk about the next movie," Joe said. "Once we were doing that, people were getting confused on what scene was in what film."

Logistically, it had to be much easier on the cast and crew splitting the films up. The run time of Avengers: Infinity War clocked in right at 160 minutes and Avengers 4 is reportedly hovering with a run timeright around three hours. In fact, Joe confirmed as much on an Instagram live stream last month.

“I’d say it could easily be a three-hour film," Joe explained. "But I think that, you know, we’re very hard on the material. We like it to play at a certain pace. I’m sure that we’ll squeeze it.”

“I do think it’ll be longer than Avengers 3,” he continued, prompting Anthony to stress it was impossible to predict the run time as it stood.

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Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp are now available as digital downloads and Blu-ray and DVD. Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, Avengers 4 on May 3, 2019, and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5, 2019.