In a Comic-Con year where many motion major picture studios are sitting on the sidelines, the Russo brothers ratcheted up the excitement and beamed in via video a slew of friends, who largely had fan-questions about Avengers i.e. Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Paul Rudd, Robert Downey Jr and Tom Holland.
Holland talked about his next movie, Cherry, which Joe and Anthony Russo are shooting in October. The pic will take place and shoot near their hometown of Cleveland. It’s based on the Knopf novel and parallels the true story of the author, a former Army medic who returned from Iraq with extreme un-diagnosed PTSD and fell into opioid addiction and began robbing banks. The brothers said today that the movie will be rated R.
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“It’s a story about drug addiction and the opioid crisis,” said Joe Russo. “It’s touched us both, it’s a deeply personal movie for us. The gent who wrote the book went through the same growth arc in the same part of the city we grew up in — but different experiences.”
“It will be rated R,” Anthony Russo said about Cherry. “It’s a complicated and mature movie. It doesn’t have the surface-level entertainment od Marvel films, but these are stories that need to be told, and Joe and I are in that position to get these stories made.”
At the top of the panel, the Russos were nudged on whether they’d ever direct a Marvel Secret Wars movie. “Our run at Marvel was one of the best creative times,” said Joe Russo. “We’d love to work with Marvel again and maybe that’s on Secret War. That’s a favorite of ours when we were young, and I read it in a whole sitting when I was 12.”
Asked if the movie could be a two- or-three parter, Joe Russo answered, “I don’t know, it could be a six-parter.” No immediate plans, as the brothers’ AGBO Studios is focused on an immediate slate of upcoming pics including 21 Bridges, Electric State, Dhaka — a Chris Hemsworth movie for Netflix — as well as their animated series Magic The Gathering..
Today the Russos also announced that they acquired the IP for Japanese anime series Battle of the Planets to possibly make into a live-action film that they would direct. Also, they have a Grimjack series in the works at Amazon.
Most of the questions asked by those Avengers beaming in were silly. Paul Rudd asked “which Chris has the best ass?” — Evans or Hemsworth. The brothers tossed the question to fans, who screamed for Evans. Ruffalo, who was first to project on the screen, 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?” Joe Russo asked Hall H who the smartest Avenger is: Bruce Banner or Tony Stark? They screamed for Tony Stark. Robert Downey Jr. asked about the duo to comment on how Stark changed between his “I am Iron Man” statements during the first Iron Man film and when Thanos snaps him away in Avengers: Infinity War.
The Comic-Con panel kicked off with sizzle reel of Russo Brothers’ greatest hits from Community to their Marvel canon including the Captain America franchise and Avengers pics.