The Film That Lit My Fuse is a Deadline video series that aims to provide an antidote to grim headlines about industry uncertainty by swinging the conversation back to the creative ambitions, formative influences and inspirations of some of today’s great screen artists.
Every installment asks the same five questions. Today’s subject is the sibling directing/producing team of Joe & Anthony Russo. The Cleveland-born brothers began inauspiciously with a Slamdance film they maxed out credit cards to make called Pieces. An avant garde effort that had many walkouts at its premiere, with a carefully choreographed soundtrack of music they could never have been able to afford to clear, Pieces never got released. But it got one fan: Steven Soderbergh saw it and took the brothers under his wing, godfathering their next film Welcome to Collinwood and teaching them the storytelling ropes. They became bankable as directors and exec producers of the series Arrested Development and Community, and then found their way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Kevin Feige saw something in their comedy that compelled him to hire them for the first Captain America sequel. They did two of those and two Avengers films, four blockbusters culminating in Avengers Endgame, the highest grossing film in Hollywood history with $2.8 billion in global ticket sales. They started AGBO, a multi-platform factory where they finance, write, direct and produce an array of films that this year included Netflix’s biggest ever movie success, Extraction, and Relic, the Sundance genre thriller that IFC Midnight releases tomorrow.
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