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Avengers 5: Russo Brother Declines to Comment on Marvel Return Rumors

Avengers 5 Superheroes
By Richard Nebens

When it comes to behind-the-scenes personnel within the MCU, directors Joe and Anthony Russo hold a place as two of the most influential professionals to ever work on a Marvel Studios project. After their impressive work on the last two Captain America movies, they helmed arguably the two biggest superhero movies in history with credits on Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

Even after completing their duties in Endgame, the Russo brothers remain connected to the MCU, largely through giving insight into what the franchise is doing with Phase 4 and beyond. From celebrating the efforts of Spider-Man: No Way Home to standing behind Scarlett Johansson after her Black Widow-related lawsuit, the directing duo is never too far away from Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

More recently, rumors teased that the Russos may be in line for a return for the fifth Avengers film when it becomes a reality, which could still be a few years away regardless of who directs it.

Now, the two have cleared the air on some of those reports as fans hope to see them come back to Marvel Studios for a fifth round of moviemaking.

Russo Brothers on Marvel Return? No Comment

Avengers 5, Joe Russo
Marvel

Following the lawsuit between Disney and Scarlett Johansson over Black Widow's release, a September 2021 report from the Wall Street Journal indicated that the Russo Brothers were angry with Disney over their treatment of Johansson as a creative partner. This reportedly caused the directorial duo to temporarily cease their talks with Disney-owned Marvel Studios about their potential return to the MCU director's chair, which many have speculated to be a fifth Avengers movie that's an adaptation of the Secret Wars event from Marvel Comics. 

Johansson & Disney amicably resolved their legal battle before going to court. But have tensions cooled enough with the Russos for their Marvel talks to continue?

Den of Geek recently asked Joe Russo about these Avengers-sized rumors. Unfortunately, Russo "decline(d) to comment on whether they were actively in discussions about returning to Marvel Studios" last year amid the Disney-Johansson public dispute, keeping fans completely in the dark about the possibility that the Russos may be returning for Avengers 5 or another Marvel project.

Following this no comment, Russo steered the conversation toward a discussion about his and his brother's production company, AGBO. The two have offered their expertise on smaller projects like the widely-popular Everything Everywhere All at Once, leading to plenty of success for the pair:

“Our autonomy is at a historic scale. We have our own company, it’s really well-funded, and we can help movies like Everything Everywhere All at Once get across the finish line.”

This success allows them to "(trend) back towards original IP" rather than going back to franchises like the MCU. Russo sees a trend of people wanting to see "new ideas" from more movies, especially with so many other big blockbusters still releasing on a regular basis:

“I think we will start trending back towards original IP. I think it’s a great opportunity…I think that original IP will start to emerge in this market as corporations become more pedantic and factory-like with the execution of their current IP. I just think people are going to crave new ideas.”

Russo previously stated in December 2021 that he and his brother would be open to a reunion with Marvel Studios, although he couldn't pin down whether it would happen.

Will the Russo Brothers Actually Direct Avengers 5?

Avengers 5 heroes
Marvel

It seems that after making four of the MCU's biggest hits - two of which grossed nearly $5 billion combined - directors Joe and Anthony Russo are in a good place away from the blockbuster superhero movie scene.

Having first made their name on the hit TV show Community, the Russos came somewhat out of the blue when they delivered arguably one of the MCU's best movies in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Even when things took off for them after that 2014 sequel, their experience with Marvel Studios set them up for even more big accomplishments outside of the Marvel universe.

Since it will still be a long time until Avengers 5 becomes a reality, it's possible that the Russos may be on board for the next big team-up in spite of their feelings on how Disney and Marvel handled their dispute with Scarlett Johansson. With that issue now resolved and in the rearview, there is a good chance that the directing duo could be back.

It is also extremely notable that Joe Russo declined to comment on the possibility of him and his brother returning for a fifth Avengers film, rather than outright saying that they were not in talks with Marvel about the prospects. This heavily indicates that discussions are still ongoing and Russo is unable to discuss them, adding more credence to the pair sharing the director's seat for Marvel once again. This also differs from previous comments where Russo spoke a bit more openly about the topic of returning for Avengers 5, suggesting that there may be more going on behind the scenes.

Fans won't know for sure until that next team-up outing is more set in stone, but this new comment, or lack thereof, should be a telling sign of what's to come.

All four of the Russo brothers' MCU movies are available to stream on Disney+.