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Anthony and Joe Russo have directed two of the all-time highest-grossing films in box office history — which has naturally led to them being the subject of many Google searches over the years. In a new video interview with Wired, the brothers answer some of those popular questions, including about their work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The interview is part of the press tour for the Russos' newest movie The Gray Man, which will premiere in a limited number of theaters this weekend before hitting Netflix next week. But since the movie has only been seen by critics so far, it isn't showing up much in Google searches yet, and the only thing the Russos say about it in this video is reminding viewers of its star-studded cast that includes Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, and Ana de Armas, among others.
The funniest bits of the interview have to do with the MCU. When they come upon the question "why did the Russo brothers kill Loki," Joe stares straight into the camera and says in a deadpan tone, "he deserved to die." When the next question revealed is "why did the Russo brothers kill Iron Man," Anthony groans while Joe delivers the same exact answer: "He deserved to die."
They give a slightly more serious answer to the next question, "why do the Russo brothers hate the Hulk?" Joe notes that they didn't know exactly what to do with "such a big, powerful character," which explains why Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner goes on such a journey in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. In the first film, Bruce loses the ability to transform into the Hulk at will; in the second, he finally synthesizes his two personalities into a being who is big and smart at the same time. "He deserved it," Joe jokes again.
Marvel Studios (2) Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man in 'Avengers: Endgame' and Tom Hiddleston as Loki in 'Avengers: Infinity War'
Of course, creative decisions like these aren't just up to the Russo brothers. The MCU is a complicated creative entity with lots of cooks in the kitchen and lots of storytelling needs to service; Ms. Marvel director Adil El Arbi just told EW that plot twists like the one in this week's season finale are like "national security kind of secret stuff" that aren't even fully explained to creators as they're making it. Later in the interview, the Russos vigorously deny that they are "auteur" directors since so many people work on their films. Iron Man's death provided poignant emotion for Endgame to wrap up the first decade of the MCU, while Loki's death in Infinity War allowed Tom Hiddleston's trickster god to pivot to his own solo series on Disney+. Ruffalo will reprise the new brainy version of the Hulk on She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
Watch the full Wired interview above. Other topics the Russos touch on include the classic NBC cult comedy Community (when faced with the search question, "what did the Russo brothers do on Community?", Anthony and Joe reframe it as, "what didn't we do on that show?"), so if that's of interest make sure to check out EW's BINGE podcast with the cast and creators of the show.
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