The Russo Brothers defend the Marvel Studios model of filmmaking amidst criticisms within certain segments of the industry.
Marvel Studios has produced some of the most successful films of all-time, with several of them having been released in the last several years. Given that these films are all set within the same continuity, fans have certainly had an overwhelmingly positive response to films such as The Russo Brothers‘ four entries that include two Captain America movies and two Avengers films. After the unprecedented success of their run with Marvel Studios on Phases 2 and 3, the directing duo went on to direct their own projects separate from the blockbuster scene, including Cherry with Tom Holland on Apple TV+, and their newest film The Gray Man with Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans on Netflix.
The Russo Brothers were notable for their work on sitcoms and big screen comedies before their venture with Marvel Studios, and are often considered by critics to be company men rather than filmmakers with a particular auteurist vision with their films, which is why their work in the MCU is often considered mostly the vision of Kevin Feige above anything else. The production model of the MCU has been subject to much criticism amongst some figures in the industry, and when asked by THR about whether or not the films and TV shows of the biggest franchise in the world has been set up as an industry foil, Anthony and Joe Russo had this to say:
Anthony Russo: The overwhelming success of those movies has caused them to represent something that has become “other,” or maybe not attainable to some others for whatever reason. Not every movie has to be liked globally.
Joe Russo: When I was 19, I used to love U2. And then they started getting some commercial success, beyond their MTV early days, where they were the biggest band in the world. And I was like, “I hate U2. I’m sick of U2. They’re so ubiquitous!” That was just my ego trying to define myself against the masses. Then, 10 years later, I was like, “I fucking love U2. Why did I do that?” I outgrew it. It feels like a very juvenile conversation. The whole thing feels sad and cynical and pessimistic. You’re talking about movies that 10-year-olds are weeping over and begging to go see. They’ll remember for decades that they were there with their grandfather. Like, give me a fucking break.
The Russo Brothers also addressed the ever-changing industry, and both of them questioned those who claimed that going to the movie theater was anything “sacred” and why despite their love of classic cinema, they hope that with their new films whether with Marvel Studios or not, they hope to move cinema forward:.
The Marvel Studios Cinematic Debate Rages On.
The Russo Brothers’ comments in defense of the Marvel Studios playbook isn’t much of a surprise. After all, the two achieved unprecedented success directing some of the highest-grossing films of all-time, rivaling the numbers from legendary filmmaker James Cameron’s blockbusters such as Avatar. It is true that younger audiences of today are certainly going to have a sentimental connection to the films of the MCU among other franchises, and when looking back, perhaps they’ll have fond memories.
Ultimately, there should be room for films from both the blockbuster tentpoles such as Marvel Studios and the more auteurist perspectives of visionary filmmakers. Yes, the Russo Brothers are company men that have no problem following the trends of an ever-changing industry, but their films can also help finance the passion projects of exciting filmmakers such as the Daniels and their sci-fi masterpiece Everything Everywhere All At Once, which Anthony and Joe Russo both served as producers on.
The Gray Man is now playing in select theaters and is set to stream on Netflix on July 22, 2022. Be sure to continue following Heroic Hollywood for all the latest news on The Russo Brothers’ upcoming new film, as well as what Marvel Studios has in store, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more original video content.