×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

How the Russo Brothers Plan to Embrace Disruption in the Movie Business

Joe and Anthony Russo want to capitalize on the disruption in the movie business.

The brothers behind the “Avengers” films, who recently entered into a sprawling co-financing and distribution deal with Fox for their fledgling production company, say they’re already developing projects that will, in Joe Russo’s words, span “little movies, big movies, hard R, edgy films, arty films and big giant tentpole movies.” These pictures could be released by the studio’s various divisions, with smaller films getting fielded by Fox Searchlight and larger ones coming out under the 20th Century Fox banner.

“The business is changing faster than it’s ever changed,” says Joe Russo. “Films used to be an event that required work and effort to get to a theater to see. Now really good content is available immediately to us on many devices. At the same time, the audience’s appetite for storytelling is evolving, and people want to spend time with characters for many years. The success of the Marvel universe and ‘Game of Thrones’ reflects that.”

The idea behind the Russos’ new venture is that it will function as an artist collective. The brothers are hoping to sign deals with various filmmakers to come in and develop projects, and serve as a writers’ room of sorts. In addition to working in different genres and budget ranges, the Russos are open to experimenting with how a story is told — raising the possibility of unspooling a narrative over several installments that are released in quick succession.

Although rival studios had hoped to land the brothers, they opted to go with Fox because they’ve known film chief Stacey Snider for years. She worked with the duo on their 2006 comedy “You, Me and Dupree.” They were also excited about Fox’s decision to acquire Technoprops, a technology company that allows directors to pre-visualize their films before they start shooting.

“Stacey and Fox are being very forward thinking in terms of where the industry is going on a technological level,” says Anthony Russo. “They have that inclination to be disruptive.”

The Russos have already started to option materials and have opened an office in downtown Los Angeles. But before they can start shooting, they still have to finish work on the next two “Avengers” installments.

“They’ll be full-time with us in January,” Snider says. “But we said, ‘Let’s give each other a promise ring; let’s get engaged.’ They are super ambitious.”
As the movie business struggles to keep audiences coming to theaters, the Russos believe solutions will be found at the creative, not just the corporate, level.

“We want to empower artists and filmmakers to forge new paths,” says Joe Russo.

More Film

  • Bertrand Tavernier Hosts Night of Cinema

    Bertrand Tavernier Hosts Night of Cinema Inspired Orchestra in Paris

    Flanked by UniFrance president Serge Toubiana and the National Orchestra of France, filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier stood before a rapt crowd at Paris’ Maison de la Radio this past Saturday to introduce an evening dedicated to French film scores called “May the Music Begin!” That moniker – a reference to the original French title of his [...]

  • Orange Studio Sells Out 'Serial (Bad)

    Orange Studio Sells Out 'Serial (Bad) Weddings 2,' 'City Hunter' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Paris-based Orange Studio has nearly sold out its two French comedy highlights, Philippe de Chauveron’s “Serial (Bad) Weddings 2” and Philippe Lacheau’s “City Hunter.” “Serial (Bad) Weddings 2,” which opened the UniFrance Rendez-Vous in Paris last week, is the sequel of the smash hit film which grossed over $148 million worldwide. The movie has been [...]

  • Danmarks Sønner, en film af Ulaa

    Trailer for Rotterdam Competition Opener 'Sons of Denmark' Released (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer for the opening film of Rotterdam Film Festival’s Tiger Competition, “Sons of Denmark.” The film is a political thriller set in Denmark in 2025, a year after a bomb attack in Copenhagen, when ethnic tensions are running high. An ultra-nationalist politician, Martin Nordahl, and his National [...]

  • Indie Sales Acquires Martin Lund's Nordic

    Indie Sales Acquires Nordic Coming-Of-Age 'Psychobitch' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Paris-based company Indie Sales has acquired Martin Lund’s Norwegian coming-of-age drama “Psychobitch” which is headlined by Elli Rhiannon Müller Osbourne (“Utoya: July 22”). “Psychobitch” marks the first feature film of Martin Lund, who made his debut with “Twigson Ties the Knot,” a local box office hit, and followed up with “The Almost Man,” which won [...]

  • Studiocanal has sold Jean Paul Gaultier's

    Jean Paul Gaultier's 'Freak And Chic' Documentary Sells For Studiocanal (EXCLUSIVE)

    Underscoring the strength and scope of French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s legacy around the world, the documentary “Jean Paul Gaultier Freak And Chic,” which chronicles the making of Gaultier’s ongoing popular show in Paris, has been luring distributors in key markets. Sold by Studiocanal and produced by Capa, the documentary has already been picked [...]

  • Korea Box Office: 'MAL·MO·E' and 'Inside

    Korea Box Office: 'MAL·MO·E' and 'Inside Me' Remain on Top

    There was no change at the top of the Korean box office, as local titles “MAL·MO·E: The Secret Mission” and “Inside Me (a.k.a. The Dude in Me)” dominated a second weekend. Lotte’s “MAL·MO·E” earned $4.79 million from 618,000 admissions between Friday and Sunday for a total of $16.7 million from 2.23 million admissions after two [...]

  • TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT

    China Box Office: ‘Bumblebee’ Flies to $138 Million Total

    “Bumblebee” flew to its third weekend of dominance in China. But the Chinese box office remains in lackluster mode at the start of 2019. The spinoff of Paramount’s “Transformers” franchise earned $16.1 million in Chinese theaters between Friday and Sunday, according to data from exhibition and distribution consultancy Artisan Gateway. That was a 38% drop [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content