Marvel Studios has worked with many directors over the years, but none are as big as the Russo Brothers. The duo has worked in the MCU since Captain America: The Winter Soldier and, since then, has gone on to make some of the most highly regarded films known to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.
So what’s next for them? The two have been doing projects on their own for a while now, including directing Netflix’s recent movie The Gray Man starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans. But could they return to Marvel at any point?
The longtime MCU directors have spoken out on several occasions about wanting to make Secret Wars if given a chance, likely for an Avengers 5 project. The story in question revolves around the destruction of all existence and a patchwork world made of alternate realities.
The two even made sure to note that an adaptation of the storyline “would be bigger than Infinity War and Endgame.”
With all of their talk regarding the project, it seems all but a certainty that they’ll return to take the reins for Marvel’s next Avengers movie. So when can fans expect an announcement on the matter? Maybe this coming week at San Diego Comic-Con?
Sadly, it doesn’t seem like it's going to happen anytime soon—if at all.
Russo Brothers (Supposedly) Debunk Secret Wars
Joe Russo replied that “there are no conversations [with Marvel]” about the two of them returning for such a project.
When asked if fans should expect them to surprise everyone and turn up at San Diego Comic-Con this next weekend to announce something, he bluntly responded, “we’re not.” The director continued by explaining that while “Secret Wars was [their] favorite series growing up… there is no [news] story" regarding rumors of the two directing the project:
“No. We’re not. You know, we haven’t had conversations with those guys about anything that they are up to because we’ve been intensely busy with our own schedule. We just always answer truthfully when we’re asked, 'would you work with them?' Of course we would. We adore them. 'What would you like to do?' Secret Wars was our favorite series growing up, you know? And then I think it always gets turned into a bigger story. But to be clear, there is no story."
Are the Russo Brothers Bluffing?
When it comes to circumstances like this, it's important to remind readers that these denials can’t be taken at face value—if they have been talking to Marvel or are even officially signed on for Secret Wars, they would legally not be able to talk about it.
Though, there are plenty of signs which point to the exact opposite of what the Russos state in their recent interview. For one, back in 2020, Joe Russo said quite the opposite of what he’s claiming now. The director noted that “[they’ve] talked to [those at Marvel Studios] all the time” and how they even “get together with Lou [D’Esposito] for regular dinners once a month.”
So, being caught in a bluff isn't the best look—however, despite there being discussions, that’s not confirmation of any involvement relating to Secret Wars or whatever form Avengers 5 will take.
That said, though, back when Scarlet Johansson was in the midst of her lawsuit against Disney, reports from the reputable Wall Street Journal claimed the Russo Brothers and Disney had reached an impasse in negotiations to direct another MCU movie due to how the situation with the actress was being handled. So it seems that conversations of some sort were almost certainly happening at some point.
Hopefully, everything will line up eventually, and fans will know sooner rather than later about the Russo Brothers' future with Marvel Studios.