Martin Scorsese is defending running times for films like his “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which is nearly three-and-a-half hours.

The Oscar-winning writer-director told the Hindustan Times that the 206-minute length of the film should not deter audiences, especially in the age of streaming series across hours.

“People say it’s three hours, but come on, you can sit in front of the TV and watch something for five hours,” Scorsese said. “Also, there are many people who watch theater for 3.5 hours. There are real actors on stage, you can’t get up and walk around. You give it that respect. Give cinema some respect.”

Scorsese said the Paramount/Apple historical epic should be seen in theaters, though the film will eventually stream on Apple TV+. It opens theatrically October 20.

“In the case of ‘Killers of the Flower Moon,’ it should be seen on the big screen. Are we intending to make a blockbuster? No, we’re making a movie, which should [be] watched on the big screen,” Scorsese said. “Other pictures I made? Maybe not. Sometimes, it’s the strength of the picture too, if it plays well on a smaller screen, that’s interesting. ‘Killers’ could play on a small screen, but in order to truly immerse yourself, you should take out the time.”

He continued of his filmography as a whole, “I played with each film in a way that I could find a new way to tell the story. Sometimes, a story without a plot. I like plots, but I often find them tiresome to create. You have to find the visual and aural way to tell a story through your heart. The visuals and the sounds should reflect how you feel. And that means editing or not editing, when not to cut.”

“Killers” isn’t the only Oscar contender with a hefty running time this year, as “Oppenheimer” clocks in at 180 minutes.

Fellow auteur Baz Luhrmann recently recut his 2008 period piece “Australia,” starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, to create a Hulu limited series titled “Faraway Downs.” Luhrmann said in a press statement that he was “inspired to re-approach my film […] because of the way episodic storytelling has been reinvigorated by the streaming world.”

Similarly, Quentin Tarantino debuted a Netflix limited series extended version of “The Hateful Eight” in 2019.

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