Russo Brothers Give Disappointing Update On Their Return To Marvel
The Russo Brothers have confirmed they won't be working on any Marvel Studios projects until at least 2030.
In a new cover story for Variety, filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo (aka The Russo Brothers) discuss their careers, which hit the A-list after their run of Marvel blockbusters, beginning with 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and culminating with 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. While they haven’t stopped making movies, they haven’t returned to Marvel Studios, which has left MCU fans wondering what project would lure them back. According to the brothers, if it ever happens, it won’t be before the end of the decade.
“We won’t be ready to do anything with Marvel until the end of the decade,” Joe Russo says, which is likely to disappoint a lot of fans who don’t like the idea of eight-plus years of no Russo Brothers Marvel films. Given the underwhelming response to Marvel’s Phase Four offerings (Spider-Man: No Way Home notwithstanding), fans were really hoping to see them return to the fold sooner rather than later.
Marvel without the Russo Brothers is like Indiana Jones without Steven Spielberg, or Star Wars without George Lucas. We could still get good Marvel films without them, but having them around gives us the chance of having great Marvel films.
In the years since Endgame, the Russo Brothers have worked with some Marvel actors, including Chris Evans in The Gray Man for Netflix (released this past July) and Chris Hemsworth in 2020’s Extraction, also for Netflix (and a sequel is on the way), but no actual Marvel projects. And they seem to be happy with that.
In 2017, thanks in large part to their Marvel success, the Russo Brothers launched AGBO, an independent studio with a focus on the artists involved and projects they embrace. They hope to bridge the gap between independent films and commercial success at the theater, something big-studio releases seem to dominate achieving these days. The Gray Man was an AGBO project, and they hope to build that film into a movie franchise.
Their new projects include The Electric State for for Netflix, and a spy series for Amazon called Citadel.
The Russo Brothers have been careful with their words when it comes to working with Marvel Studios, so it doesn’t appear as if there has been a falling out, and the working relationship is on good terms. A year ago, Giant Freaking Robot reported exclusively that the Russos were in negotiations to direct Avengers: Secret Wars, the event film that will close Phase Six of the MCU. That film still does not have an announced director, and is due to open in 2026. With Joe swearing off Marvel for the time being, it seems any negotiations on that front fell through.
The Russos rose in Hollywood through television, first with Arrested Development and their work on NBC’s Community, which put them on Kevin Feige’s radar, who took a risk by giving them the chance to direct The Winter Soldier, which many regard as one of the best of the Marvel films, and a game changer that set the tone for future Marvel movies.
With some of Marvel’s recent misfires on film and in television, they could use a vision to define the upcoming Phases of the MCU. It remains to be seen of the Russo Brothers will provide it.