According to the Russo brothers, the initial edit of Avengers: Endgame was longer than the final version that will hit theaters later this month. Arguably the most hotly anticipated film of 2019, depending on your feelings toward Star Wars: Episode IX, Endgame is the continuation to last year's huge Marvel Cinematic Universe crossover event, Infinity War. The conclusion of that movie saw Thanos use his Infinity Gauntlet to destroy half of the universe, killing a selection of much-loved characters in the process. Soundly beaten, the Avengers have been forced to regroup and lick their wounds.
After an agonizing wait, Endgame will follow on from that dramatic ending and while the movie's marketing campaign has been highly secretive, even by Marvel's clandestine standards, MCU fans know that the Avengers will be joined by both Ant-Man, fresh from his stint in the Quantum Realm, and Captain Marvel, whose solo movie was released to much acclaim only last month. It has also been confirmed that Endgame will run to a bladder-testing three hours long, as the likes of Thor, Steve Rogers and Tony Stark have another crack at the Mad Titan.
Endgame directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, have now confirmed in an interview with Collider that the movie's first edit actually ended up running slightly shorter than the final cut cinema-goers will bear witness to. The brothers state:
“We’ve been working on this movie for well over a year in editorial because we finished it in 2018, and it literally hasn’t moved maybe more than two minutes from its original run time on the director’s cut. It’s just a tough one. There’s just a lot of story in it. We like emotional stakes that require screen time...We have almost everything in this movie that we shot… I think [our first cut] was slightly shorter than this.”
This revelation is particularly interesting as filmmaking tradition dictates that a movie's first cut will usually be whittled down into a shorter, more concise affair due to factors such as studio interference, screen test feedback or to achieve a more palatable running time. The fact that Endgame was added to, rather than cut down, during the editing process is not only a clear sign of the faith Marvel Studios have in the movie, but also that the Russos wielded plenty of clout when it came to deciding on the final cut. As a sign of how important and telling this process can be, one only has to look at the troubles of Justice League and the widespread calls for a Zack Snyder director's cut.
However, the Russos' comments also make it very clear that the task of filming and editing Endgame was a highly streamlined process, with minimal material being left on the cutting room floor. This is perhaps testament to the clear, long-term vision the directors and Marvel had for the movie and also a sign of how much plot there is to cover in the Infinity War follow-up. No doubt many fans will be pleased to hear that the final cut of Avengers: Endgame is the meatiest, most jam-packed version possible.
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019