With Captain America: Civil War releasing to international audiences this past week, directors Joe and Anthony Russo have been on the press trail to promote the film’s US release this coming Friday. The sibling duo first broke into the business with episode credits on television comedies like Arrested Development and Community, and were on-boarded in what some might have considered a risky move to helm Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Needless to say, the pair blew critics out of the water, and will be taking on both Infinity War films over the next few years.
In a recent interview, the Russo brothers discussed their past experiences on shows that defined their roots, confirmed that actor Chevy Chase might be a little difficult to work with, and elaborated on what it took for them to make the jump from television to superhero blockbuster.
Speaking with Collider, the duo discussed approaching Marvel’s Kevin Feige to pitch The Winter Soldier. “Well you know, we’re very passionate about our pitch,” said Joe. “We’re passionate about the character, I’ve been collecting comics since I was a kid. We have very similar upbringing to Kevin.” Regardless, Anthony explains that the actual duration of the pitch spread out for quite some time: “We went through a series of four meetings with Marvel over the course of about two months where we kept getting more and more specific about what our vision was.”
Joe explained that they used anything and everything at their disposal pertaining to that particular vision, including storyboards and script pages, in order to get their ides about the tone of The Winter Soldier and its style across to Marvel execs. Furthermore, Joe said spoke about the difference between The Winter Soldier and Captain America: The First Avenger:
We wanted to add an element of deconstruction to the character and to examine him in a way that was different than the microscope Joe [Johnston, director of Captain America: The First Avenger] had used on the character. Because his was an homage to the Golden Age, and what we wanted to do was modernize Cap and to make him really flawed and human — or as flawed and human as we could.
Anthony went on to explain how it felt as though he and his brother were fated to create The Winter Solider:
We were doing almost nothing but developing the movie before we had the job, but the good news was we figured the movie out before we got hired, which was very cool. But I remember — my wife likes to remind me, toward the end of the process before we got the job, she said, “I remember you said to me, ‘I have to re-examine my entire career if we don’t get this job.’” Because it felt like we were meant to do the movie and Joe and I were really excited about it.
As far as Civil War is concerned, though, the duo seems to feel as though the film is more of a “wide open field,” explaining that Kevin Feige takes the film process one at a time. Joe explains, “Because if you get ahead of yourself, two things can happen. One is you take your eye off the ball and you make a mess of a movie, and then the second thing that would happen is then you don’t get to make any more movies. So he’s always in the mindset of ‘let’s just make this movie now and worry about the next movie when it comes’.”
While Marvel Studios seems to have a set plan going into Phase 4, the next steps have been a hit topic as of recent, and fans are standing by to see where Marvel’s Cinematic Universe goes past 2020. Until then, the next few films are being paced out as they come, as Anthony Russo explains: “The most simple way I could put it is Marvel doesn’t come to the filmmakers and say, ‘Here’s what the next movie is.’ They come to the filmmakers and say, ‘What is the next movie?’ That’s very much the process.”
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange– November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1– May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.