Joe and Anthony Russo are looking to their youth to populate the development slate at their production company AGBO.
A relatively obscure comic book called “Grimjack” will count the Russos as producers for an adaptation, they announced at San Diego Comic-Con. They’re also cooking up a live-action adaptation of the animated show “Battle of the Planets.”
Joe Russo said he and his brother would rush home from school every day to watch “Battle of the Planets,” while Anthony added that “Grimjack” was a “deep cut“ that the pair loved as kids.The projects join their previously announced titles “Cherry,” to star Tom Holland, and a reboot of “The Thomas Crown Affair” with Michael B. Jordan.
While the slate titles reflect the deep ties to superhero and fantasy genres the men enjoy, they’re expanding into more grounded action and drama. A trailer for the Chadwick Boseman thriller “21 Bridges” was shown, where Black Panther himself plays an NYPD officer on the verge of uncovering a massive conspiracy.
It’s “Cherry,” however, that might be their biggest departure. Set in their hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, Anthony Russo said the film will be rated R and call on the current Spider-Man to play his darkest role yet. Based on the 2018 novel by Nico Walker, Holland will play a young Army vet who returns home worse for the wear. After developing an opioid addiction, he starts robbing banks.
Holland appeared in a video message for the panel, which was basically a victory lap for the record-shattering performance of “Avengers: Endgame,” and called the role “complicated,” saying it was unlike any he’d done before.
The Russos also clarified a larger vision for their company which has distribution partners at studios like STX and streamers like Netflix. The men credit “Traffic” director Steven Soderbergh with opening the door to Hollywood for them 20 years ago, “and that’s our goal here. To introduce and hold the door open for other people in Hollywood.”
“21 Bridges” is first up from the pair, scheduled to hit theaters in September.