As the box office returns for comic book movies continue to grow, so do their running times, and 2016 has seen more than its share of epic-length clashes between superpowered characters.
Captain America: Civil War clocked in at 147 minutes, while Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice edged it out at 151 minutes. (And of course, let’s not forget the “Ultimate Edition” that adds an extra half hour of footage on top of that).
But not every tale needs to spend so much time unfolding, and it looks like Marvel’s upcoming Doctor Strange will actually buck the trend with a running time that comes in under the two-hour mark. JoBlo cited a posting with the British Board of Film Classification that lists the official running time of Doctor Strange at 114 minutes (and 49 seconds, but who’s counting?).
Personally, I’m a big fan of this – unlike most Hollywood studio executives, I don’t feel that major tent-pole releases are required to have an extended running time, particularly when those extra minutes rarely add up to anything substantial. Civil War is something of an anomaly, as there are very few obvious places for trimming in that film, but Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad and X-Men: Apocalypse all overstayed their welcome.
On the other hand, you have something like Deadpool, which managed to tell a great story with a ton of action and humor in less than 108 minutes. I’m not trying to imply that every film needs to aspire to a specific length, I’m just pointing out that it’s possible to blend narrative cohesion and the sort of spectacle fans want from their comic book films while still keeping to a length that won’t be an immediate turnoff for some viewers.
Anyway, Doctor Strange is less than two hours, and it’s hitting theaters Nov. 4. Keep reading for the official synopsis:
From Marvel comes Doctor Strange, the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look for healing, and hope, in an unlikely place — a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj.
He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Before long Strange — armed with newly acquired magical powers — is forced to choose whether to return to his life of fortune and status, or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.
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