The Marvel Comic Universe will be losing a pair of iconic directors after the release of Avengers: Endgame. Anthony and Joe Russo have announced they have no further plans to direct Marvel movies. The brothers recently discussed the details of their leave and what’s next for the pair. But, before we get into that, let’s take a look back at the Russo brother’s career.
The Russo Brother’s Early Career
The children of renowned, Cleveland politician, Basil Russo, Anthony and Joe grew up in the Ohio public eye. Their father ran for mayor in 1979, but was defeated in the primary to incumbent, Dennis Kucinich. When Robert Downey Jr. was asked recently to analyze the brothers by Esquire, he said, “The Ohio factor is critical. And by the way, they don’t come from some salt-free bloodline either. There’s a larceny and some oddball stuff going on back there in the Russo clan.”
The Russo brothers’ career started with their first movie Pieces, a project they financed with credit cards and student loans. The filmmaking industry took notice of the brothers’ work and they were assigned several projects including, Arrested Development (for which they won an Emmy), You, Me and Dupree (which grossed $140 million), and Community.
The Russo Brother’s Work for Marvel Comic Universe
Community caught the attention of Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige. According to Esquire, Feige watched Community and thought, “Man, these guys understand comedy; they understand action. They should be working at Marvel.”
The Russos grew up collecting comic books, and they have developed some of Marvel Universe’s most popular films, including Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and their latest release, Avengers: Endgame. Their work brought the Marvel Comic Universe into the big time. Infinity War was the first superhero movie to gross more than $2 billion worldwide.
The brothers told Esquire their Cleveland upbringing shows up in all of their movies. “Cleveland went bankrupt in the seventies,” Joe said. “So our memories are vivid with urban decay, people out of work.” Avengers highlights this with the story of a threatened society, a theme that mirrors itself in several Marvel works.
The Russo Brothers Leaving Marvel
The Russos told GamesRader that Avengers: Endgame will be their last Marvel movie. “It’s our Endgame, at least for now. We don’t have any plans for now to make any more Marvel movies,” Anthony said, but he did give us some hope as he continued, “It certainly may come up in the future at some point. We have a wonderful working relationship with [Marvel Studios] and a great passion for what they’re doing.”
The brothers will instead be working on a much different type of movie. Their next project is called Cherry. It’s a much smaller movie, loosely based on a true story, about an Iraq veteran who struggles with PTSD and a heroin addiction. The character, who will be played by Tom Holland, turns to robbing banks to support his addiction.
They’re also financing a Los Angeles and Beijing joint production company called Anthem & Song, which will produce Chinese superhero movies, including their first project with the company, The Hero’s Awakening.
What Does The Russo Brothers Leaving Mean for Marvel Movies?
The Marvel Universe was making movies before the Russo brothers, and although they made a big mark and they will be missed, the universe will continue without them. Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and Guardians of the Galaxy all have sequels confirmed, although no release dates have been set.
One thing is certain: Fans appreciate everything the Russo brothers have done for the Marvel Universe, and are eagerly awaiting what comes next.