Marvel Studios doesn’t produce box office failures, period. Even the movies of the MCU that have been unable to ignite the hearts of critics with cosmic joy, and those that have become the butt of many jokes as being the worst of the Infinity Saga – stand up Thor: The Dark World for many – still bring in the kind of grosses that other movies would love to have as a given. In Marvel terms though, the movies of Joe and Anthony Russo have become the biggest hitters of the Marvel canon.
We are talking out of the park, through the parking lot and off into the distance with a trail of fire in their wake. Their four-movie run, which began with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, went through Captain America: Civil War and culminated with Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame delivered Marvel’s record-breaking box office run of 2019 and brought a soft end to Marvel’s Infinity Saga after 22 interconnected movies, before Spider-Man: Far From Home provided a coda leading into the next phase of the Marvel plan.
Of course, since that time, the biggest question has been, when will the Russos return to direct their next Marvel epic? In the new book, The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Russos discuss what it is that makes them want to return to work on another Marvel movie someday, which the pair have hinted at themselves previously in other interviews.
“We laugh a lot, and that’s really important,” Joe Russo says in the book. “We all have a very similar sense of humor, and we spent a lot of time making jokes with each other and enjoying each other’s company during very long, difficult hours-whether in the story room, on set, or in the editing room. Everyone’s very supportive and encouraging of one another. You can’t undertake something as significant as the two most expensive movies ever made, back-to-back, without that kind of environment. You just wouldn’t survive. There’s no other way through it than with warmth and laughter.”
“It starts with their very specific passion for the material,” Anthony Russo added. “That’s a big part of it. Because the connectivity they have between what they do, what they say, what they think, and the actual work-it’s all in synchronicity. It’s all connected. For as hard as these movies were to make, the process with them could not have been easier.”
When Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney for their day-and-date release of Black Widow became common knowledge, Joe Russo commented on his uncertainty about working with Marvel again, but following the settling of that issue he seemed to be back on board, although in a Variety interview he would not be drawn into a discussion about whether there were already talks on-going. In that interview, he said it would be “inappropriate for us to comment on a deal if we were in the middle of it. I’m glad that the lawsuit’s resolved. I do think it was indicative of significant change that’s been happening. The resolution speaks volumes about the respect for artists moving forward in this changing landscape.”
He continued, “On a personal level, I’m just more interested in diversity of storytelling. I think the world is a better place the more diverse voices can be heard … All of my favorite stuff in the last five years is outside of Hollywood. I think that that is important because artists are coming at it with individuality and a fresh perspective that isn’t tainted by or affected by the machine that we have in Hollywood.”
Back in 2019, the Russos were quoted in a number of articles saying that one storyline which would draw them back into Marvel’s orbit would be Secret Wars. In the last few months, there have been many reports suggesting that somewhere in the future of Marvel, that storyline is being developed and is the “endgame” of the next phases of the MCU, so with all that in mind, there are few who would bet against seeing Joe and Anthony Russo returning for another big piece of event storytelling in the next few years.
The current slate of Marvel movies brings Eternals to theaters next week, and the much anticipated Spider-Man: No Way Home rounding out 2021 with its December 17th release, along with Disney+’s Hawkeye series which debuts with two episodes on November 24th. The book excerpts above come to us from ComicBook.com.