September 26, 2023
Marvel Studios' Eternals

Does the lengthy runtime of Eternals ensure Chloe Zhao an instant smash hit in the MCU? Annlyel seems to think so!

We’re less than a month away from Eternals and yes, my hype for the film is growing rapidly. As marketing begins to ramp up for the movie during these final weeks it’s becoming clear that Eternals might just be the best superhero movie of the year. This honestly isn’t surprising considering Chloe Zhao’s work; specifically her Best Picture-winning movie, Nomadland was teeming with extraordinary storytelling. Now she’s about to take that same creativity and apply it to a superhero setting? We honestly aren’t ready for the gift we’re about to receive.


And now it’s being reported that Eternals is set to be the second-longest MCU movie at a whopping 2 hours and 37 minutes. That’s nine minutes longer than Avengers: Infinity War. And we all remember that ride. Usually, when I see a movie with a long runtime I get excited and worried. An extensive runtime can mean extra minutes of enjoyment. Or senseless content that just makes a film arduous to watch. Just look at the new Bond film, No Time to Die, a movie that, overall has gotten good reviews. But the overall consensus is that the film, at a staggering 2 hours and 43 minutes, is unfortunately too long.


Why this runtime is great for Zhao’s superhero film is that she likes time to tell the perfect story. Nomadland was only an hour and forty-eight minutes long but its storytelling structure called for the film to have that runtime.

Marvel's Eternals
(L-R): Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), Gilgamesh (Don Lee), Thena (Angelina Jolie), Ikaris (Richard Madden), Ajak (Salma Hayek), Sersi (Gemma Chan), Sprite (Lia McHugh), Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) and Druig (Barry Keoghan) in Marvel Studios’ ETERNALS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Eternals is introducing us to ten new characters and will feature a story that will take place in both the past and the present. How are we going to A.) care about the characters enough to feel for them during the heightening stakes of the film and B.) how will the film convey a story that feels powerful and concise without feeling at all rushed? Easy, you take your time with it and that’s exactly what Zhao is going to do.

(L-R): Ikaris (Richard Madden) and Sersi (Gemma Chan) in Marvel Studios’ ETERNALS. Photo: Sophie Mutevelian ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

The Dark Knight, my favorite superhero film of all time, is 2 hours and 32 minutes…and that’s a sequel! So yeah, if Eternals is going to be unforgettable, this runtime feels very appropriate.

Are you concerned about the running time of Eternals? Or are you ready to immerse yourself in another three-hour Marvel-fest?

Eternals is distributed by Marvel Studios and will release on November 5th.

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