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– by David Kozlowski

Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok is poised to shake up the MCU’s status quo this November: Asgard defeated (and maybe destroyed) by Hela, Thor’s Mjolnir hammer literally crushed (again, by Hela), and an all-new version of Hulk who’s suddenly very chatty (and funny). That’s a lot of stuff for any MCU film, so this must be a 4-hour movie, right? Director Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows, Boy), whose film projects are best-described as offbeat and comedic, has tended toward shorter runtimes in each of his movies (between 86 minutes and 101 minutes). It shouldn’t be any surprise that Thor: Ragnarok fits well within Waititi’s comfort zone. RELATED – Thor: Ragnarok – Most Of The Film Was Improvised, Plus Details On Thor’s Personality Change Collider spoke with Waititi immediately after the new Thor: Ragnarok trailer debuted at last week’s San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC). Waititi provided some insight into the film’s expected duration:

“The cut right now, I reckon it’s about 100 minutes. It’s not gonna be a very, very long film. I think that stories are better when you leave them wanting more, and this film moves at a clip, it’s got stuff happening all the time. I think people are still gonna feel exhausted by the end, they’ve been on this big journey and stuff, so I don’t think we need the film to be three hours.”

The MCU films have typically erred on the side of “more is better,” with runtimes between 115 minutes and 130 minutes. Given the scope and scale of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War, which introduced new characters, conflicts, settings, and ever-larger spectacles, longer runtimes were needed to cram everything in. MCU films, while generally fast-paced, were arguably bloated in places, so Waititi’s “less is more” approach is potentially fresh and welcome.

Waititi recently stated that Thor: Ragnarok was heavily improvised (see “RELATED” link above), which implies that a lot of material was left on the cutting room floor. Fortunately, Waititi also hinted that the eventual Blu-Ray version will resurrect many of these lost scenes and improvised moments:

“There will be a lot of deleted scenes. Great scenes. Funny, funny moments that — you can’t have it all. As I say you gotta kill those puppies, so we had to take some of those things out. Those scenes will exist so people will be able to see them.”

For the record, we presume that no actual puppies were killed in the making of this film — it’s a family picture! Waititi’s remarks are a breath of fresh air, however. A long-held tenant of screenwriting is “cut the fat,” a premise that requires ripping out anything that fails to move the plot forward or drags down the pace. Theater owners should be ecstatic by this news, as a shorter runtime results in additional screenings and increased popcorn/soda sales… basically, everybody wins. Waititi’s knows what he’s doing, and his energy is infectious — all of this is evident in the two excellent trailers we’ve had to date. We can’t wait for November! Are you surprised, or dismayed by Thor: Ragnarok’s runtime? Let us know in the comments down below! Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters on November 3, 2017.

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.