Russo Brothers Inject Less Laughs, More Thrills to ‘Captain America’ Sequel

Anthony and Joe Russo
Michael Tran/FilmMagic

If theatergoers notice a more mature tone in the upcoming sequel “Captain America: The Winter Solider” than in the 2011 origin story, credit a pair of directing brothers best known, counterintuitively, for laughs.

Kevin Feige, president of production at Marvel Studios, was searching for a decidedly different take on the newly re-introduced character of Steve Rogers (played by Chris Evans), the frail young man cum WWII super solider frozen in time and thawed precisely at the moment Earth needed him most. Feige was familiar with the work of Anthony and Joe Russo on the original run of the Fox comedy “Arrested Development,” for which the pair won a directing Emmy in 2004, and on NBC’s “Community,” which the siblings executive produced from 2009-12.

Feige initially pursued Anthony, 44, and Joe, 42, and ultimately decided to entrust the next film adaptation of the 73-year-old comicbook franchise — and its $170 million production budget — to the Ohio born brothers. But the development process was hardly, well, arrested.

Over the course two and a half months, including four hours-long meetings, the duo provided storyboards laying out character arcs, fight sequences and thoughts on how to alter Cap’s uniform; created a faux trailer to address tone and cadence using scenes from “The Raid,” “Clear and Present Danger” and the bank heist sequence in “Heat”; and insisted that their film be equal parts superhero movie and psychological thriller.

“We were polite but forceful with our vision,” Joe tells Variety. “After that, the movie kind of dropped into our laps,” he deadpans.

The movie, which Marvel parent Disney opens April 4, was shot over 77 days, including a stint in the Russos’ hometown of Cleveland, and produced more than two million feet of footage.

“We wanted a film that entertained not just the 12-year-old version of ourselves,” says Joe. Anthony cuts in to finish the sentence: “We wanted something relevant, with stakes that were a little more real and human.”

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 2

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Just saw an advanced preview of the movie and I think it’s better than the first movie. There were moments that will make you laugh but not too much. Even my wife, who is not into superhero movies or comic book characters mentioned that it’s a good movie. So, to the Russo brothers, freaking AWESOME JOB!
    They were present at the showing too. Saw it at the MCAS Miramar, 29th of March. They even had a Q&A after the movie. Thank you for letting us see this awesome movie!

More Film News from Variety