×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Russo Brothers Reflect on Career Beginnings at Slamdance Film Festival

Slamdance, the annual independent film festival, honored two of its alumni this week with its Founders Award. The Russo brothers, who directed “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Captain America: Civil War,” and the upcoming “Avengers: Infinity War,” became involved with Slamdance in 1997, with their small debut film “Pieces.”

Steven Soderbergh saw the feature while at the festival, which Joe Russo said “was a very radical narrative, not dissimilar to Soderbergh’s ‘Schizopolis,’ so I think when Steven saw our movie he really responded to it.”

Soderbergh and his partner, George Clooney, offered to produce their next film, and “we spent a year and a half sitting on the couch at Steven’s company, it was called Section Eight, and you’d walk in the front door and there would be a reception area, and there was a couch off to the right where you’d see the Russo brothers with the telephone making phone calls trying to generate interest from actors and our scripts,” Joe Russo said.

“Our debt kept mounting up and we still had all the credit cards, barely paying the interest on them and it was a seven or eight year overnight success story,” he added.

Their first project with Soderbergh was 2002’s “Welcome to Collinwood,” starring Clooney, William H. Macy, and Sam Rockwell. Shortly after, the two directed the pilot of “Arrested Development,” for which they won an Emmy.

“If you look at our road to here, you could never have predicted it. We weren’t necessarily driving toward this as a goal,” Anthony Russo explained. “We’ve always been excited by the variety of what you can do as filmmaker, and we’ve always been turned on by trying to push ourselves into areas that we haven’t explored yet because that excites us creatively.”

More Biz

  • Here’s How Much Money 10 Artists

    Here’s How Much Money 10 Artists Are Owed by PledgeMusic

    For eight years, PledgeMusic was a success story: A direct-to-fan platform where artists worked directly with their audiences to fund their albums, tours and all stripes of merchandise, with fans able to purchase everything from custom guitar picks to private concerts. Yet last June, Variety broke the news that the company is struggling to pay [...]

  • Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs

    Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs as It Battles With Local Industry

    Yeun Seung-ro has been appointed as CEO of CGV Mars Entertainment, the Korean-owned company that operates Turkey’s largest cinema chain. He replaces Kwak Dong Won, another veteran of the CJ-CGV group. The change of personnel may reflect two ongoing battles within the Turkish film industry. CJ-CGV, which bought Mars for some $650 million in 2016. [...]

  • China Video Streaming Giant iQIYI Loses

    Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

    Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production. Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up CEO Resigned After Son Was Accused of Sexual Assault

    Time’s Up has announced in a statement posted to Instagram that its former president and CEO Lisa Borders, who resigned Feb. 18, did so after her son was accused of sexual assault in a “private forum.” “Within 24 hours, Lisa made the decision to resign as President and CEO of Time’s Up and we agreed [...]

  • Louis Tomlinson Signs With Arista (EXCLUSIVE)

    Louis Tomlinson Signs With Arista (EXCLUSIVE)

    One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson has signed with Arista, sources tell Variety. While the singer was formerly linked with Epic Records in 2017, he is signed directly to Simon Cowell’s Syco label and will move within the Sony Music family to Arista. Tomlinson teased a new single on Feb. 2, posting on Twitter, “Just heard the [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett's Bail Set at $100,000, Must Surrender Passport

    UPDATED: A Chicago judge set a $100,000 bond for Jussie Smollett on Thursday, as the “Empire” actor made his first court appearance. Smollett faces one felony count of filing a false police report. Police allege that Smollett staged a Jan. 29 attack, telling detectives that he was accosted by two men who used racial and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content