Some lucky Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) attendees got to sit in on “A Conversation with the Russo Brothers” panel this morning. (Read: Persistent people who waited in line for literal days.) The rest of us mere mortals will have to sate our curiosity by *reading* all about it.
The dynamic directing duo dived into everything from Avengers (duh!) and Magic the Gathering to a new project with Michael B. Jordan, their slate of AGBO projects, and more. Check it all out below.
Live-Action Magic: The Gathering Series
The brothers revealed that they played Magic: The Gathering all the time as kids. So, it’s not a surprise that they’re already looking ahead at how to take the animated series they’re doing for Netflix even further.
“It’s an animated project with the potential to spin it off into live-action,” Joe Russo says. “It’s a game we love — we’re geeks and love Magic: The Gathering and we’re excited to tell stories with it.”
It’s not much in the way of detail, but we’ll take it!
Coming Soon from AGBO
During the panel, the brothers revealed some of the projects being developed by their AGBO Studios. There will be an adaptation Battle of the Planets, a Japanese anime series from 1978, and an Amazon series based on Grimjack Comics, a graphic novel. They said that if they end up personally directing Battle of the Planets, fans can expect it to be live action.
Other projects coming from AGBO include 21 Bridges, Electric State, and Dhaka.
The Thomas Crown Affair
According to Deadline, the brothers are developing a new version of The Thomas Crown Affair, starring my beloved Michael B. Jordan, and they teased that it might not be quite what fans of the old movie are expecting.
Thank God for FaceTime
Not only did panel attendees hear from the Russo brothers, but the duo also roped a few Avengers into the fray, too. They FaceTimed Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Paul Rudd, Robert Downey Jr., and Tom Holland into the discussion.
Holland spoke about Cherry, his next movie that just happens to be the brothers. It’s scheduled to start filming this fall and will take place near Cleveland. It’s based on a novel and tells the true story of a former Army medic suffering from severe yet undiagnosed PTSD upon his return from Iraq. The rated-R film will detail his opioid addiction and eventual progression into a bank robber.
“It will be rated R,” Anthony Russo says. “It’s a complicated and mature movie. It doesn’t have the surface-level entertainment as Marvel films, but these are stories that need to be told, and Joe and I are in that position to get these stories made.”
They also said they’d be down to direct a Marvel Secret Wars movie if given the opportunity.
“Our run at Marvel was one of the best creative times, we’d love to work with Marvel again and maybe that’s on Secret Wars,” Joe Russo says. “That’s a favorite of ours when we were young and I read it in a whole sitting when I was 12.”
In an ironic twist, while Holland discussed his rather dark next film, the other Avengers were mostly just there for laughs.
Ruffalo asked, “I want to know since Hulk and Banner came to terms with each other, does that make the new Hulk, the smart Hulk, the strongest?” Fans scream-voted for Tony Stark.
And then Iron Man jumped in and kicked everyone in the feels when he asked the brothers how his character changed between his “I am Iron Man” statements (first Iron Man film vs. when Thanos oh so rudely snaps him away in Avengers: Infinity War).
Taking the “Cap” Out of, Well, Cap
If you thought Cherry sounded dark, that’s nothing compared to what almost happened to Captain America in Avengers: Endgame. Apparently, one of the brothers had the idea that, “before traveling to 2023, Thanos from 2014 would go to Earth, kill the Avengers, and bring Steve’s decapitated head with him to 2023 to taunt Steve.”
Good grief. Obviously glad that didn’t happen.