×
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

  • Donald Trump Chucky Childs Play

    'Child's Play' Stars on New Chucky's 'Creepy' Resemblance to Donald Trump

    At Wednesday night’s world premiere of the “Child’s Play” remake, it was obvious that evil doll Chucky — the star of seven films over three decades — had a little work done. And now he bears a striking resemblance to Donald Trump’s Mini-Me. “Oh, you caught that?” Aubrey Plaza told Variety on the black carpet [...]

  • Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Opening

    Academy Museum Opening Delayed Again to 2020

    The opening date of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has been delayed again, this time to an unspecified date in 2020. The museum, now under construction at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, has long been beset by delays and cost overruns. In December 2018, the Academy announced that it would open [...]

  • Bradley Cooper speaks at the 30th

    Producers Guild Shifts 2020 Awards Show to Hollywood Palladium

    The Producers Guild of America will hold its 31st Annual Producers Guild Awards at the Hollywood Palladium, shifting the site from the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The PGA had already announced that the show would take place on Jan. 18. The organization, which represents more than 8,000 producers, announced Thursday that it has launched a new [...]

  • Adam Driver appears in The Report

    Amazon’s ‘The Report’ Gets U.K. Theatrical Release Ahead of Streaming Launch

    Amazon Studio’s “The Report” will be released theatrically in the U.K. three weeks before it lands on the Prime Video streaming service. The Scott Z. Burns film tells the story of Daniel J. Jones, a U.S. Senate staffer who worked to reveal that truth about an “enhanced interrogation” program run by the CIA in the [...]

  • Elton John performing at Earls Court,

    Elton John Has a Message for Struggling LGBTQ Youth: 'Be Proud of Who You Are'

    Elton John isn’t at a loss for words when asked if he has a message for young LGBTQ people who are struggling with their sexuality or gender identity. In an exclusive interview with Variety at last month’s Cannes Film Festival, just hours before the world premiere of his long-in-the-works biopic “Rocketman,” John spoke candidly about the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content