Avengers: Infinity War is heading our way, and after a decade of laying the groundwork of the narrative of the film, there are plenty of things we expect the movie to deliver: High stakes, a large roster of characters, a story that ties up a lot of the loose ends left hanging in the MCU, and a compelling villain in Josh Brolin's Thanos. To be able to make all that happen, there's one other thing the film requires: A generous runtime.
Thankfully, it looks like our desires have been fulfilled, because Infinity War is set to become the longest-running movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
During #SDCC2017, Infinity War co-director Joe Russo sat down for an interview with Collider, in which he revealed the film's current cut comes down to an impressive two hours and 30 minutes:
"The current cut is over two and a half [hours]… Most of it’s a movie you could show, but there’s still a lot of work left to be done, I still have a couple of scenes that we haven’t finished from 'Avengers 3' that I’m shooting in the next few months with my brother, and it’s certainly gonna be a film that lives in the two and a half hour, two and a half hour-plus range."
Keep in mind, there will most likely be a few scenes that end up on the cutting room floor, as it happens with any movie, but according to Russo, there's still more footage to shoot, so the two and a half hour-running time will probably stand (or even get longer). To put into perspective how long that is, here's the runtime of all the #MCU films we've had so far:
- Iron Man: 2 hours, 6 minutes.
- The Incredible Hulk: 1 hour, 52 minutes.
- Iron Man 2: 2 hours, 5 minutes.
- Thor: 1 hour, 54 minutes.
- Captain America: The First Avenger: 2 hours, 4 minutes.
- The Avengers: 2 hours, 23 minutes.
- Iron Man 3: 2 hours, 10 minutes.
- Thor: The Dark World: 1 hour, 52 minutes.
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier: 2 hours, 16 minutes.
- Guardians of the Galaxy: 2 hours, 2 minutes.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron: 2 hours, 21 minutes.
- Ant-Man: 1 hour, 57 minutes.
- Captain America: Civil War: 2 hours, 27 minutes.
- Doctor Strange: 1 hour, 55 minutes.
- Spider-Man: Homecoming: 2 hours, 13 minutes.
Notice anything? Yep, Infinity War will be the longest-running #Marvel film to date, and such a title isn't an easy thing to achieve, when being part of a franchise comprised of 15 other movies (soon to be 17 with Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther releasing before then). Validating fans' desires, Russo went on to explain that such a long runtime is needed for everything that will be going on in the film:
"We have to, I mean it's a culmination event. We've gotta take 10 years of storytelling in this Marvel narrative experiment that’s been going on since Iron Man, and we have to take all these disparate tones, disparate themes, motivations, and we have to pull them together in a unified narrative and write the final chapters of the book. There's no way you could do that with all these characters in under that running length."
The man has a point. Fans have been wondering how on earth they'll tell the story properly with having to fit so many characters into one film. Having more time for it will certainly help.
What Can We Expect From 'Infinity War' Now?
So we got the record-breaking runtime, but what will it be filled with? If my hunch is right, with a whole lot of heroic demises. Look, let's face it, fans are pretty bloodthirsty when it comes to characters they love. A criticism of blockbuster franchises is that we rarely see heroes fall. If you count yourself in that group, Marvel will likely be answering that exact criticism in #InfinityWar.
"I think fans should be prepared for some very intense surprises in these movies. My brother and I believe in stakes; I believe that everything has to come to an end at some point, in order for it to have value, and so I think the audience should be prepared."
As for which heroes will meet their maker, that's been speculated quite a bit in the past; a number of them could meet their maker, so to speak. What I'm saying is, we're getting an Avenger movie with a record-breaking runtime and plenty of heartfelt goodbyes for beloved characters to fill that with. Yeah, I can't wait to what the Avengers' battle against #Thanos has in store for us.
Avengers: Infinity War flies into theaters on May 4, 2018.
What do you think about Infinity War being the longest Marvel movie yet? Let me know in the comments!