Joe and Anthony Russo broke out onto the comic book movie scene after directing Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a stand-out movie from Phase 2 in 2014 and one of the most beloved in the franchise. The dynamic duo went on to be given the multi-billion dollar car key from Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and direct Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.
All four films directed at Marvel Studios were critical and box office successes; Endgame briefly held the record for the high-grossing global release of all time.
After the aforementioned fourth Avengers film, the Russos have focused on other ventures. Their independent film studio, AGBO, has produced seven films since 2018. The Russos have directed Cherry starring Tom Holland and The Gray Man (releasing July 15 on Netflix) starring Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling.
Fans want to know if the Russos will ever return to the MCU, but for now, audiences will have to get excited about more non-Marvel projects from the directing duo.
Russo Brothers' Latest Project Announced
The Russo Bros. have announced their latest project. According to Collider, Jow and Anthony Russo are directing The Electric State, which "follows a runaway teenage girl and her robot on a journey through an alternate-reality 1997 USA."
Anthony Russo added during the interview that they are “working with some old friends” on The Electric State. This interview came during the press for The Gray Man, a film that stars old friend and Marvel superstar, Chris Evans.
The project is being written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (who previously worked on Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame) and is based on 2018's graphic novel by Simon Stålenhag of the same title.
The Electric State begins filming this October in Atlanta, GA.
Will the Russos Return for Avengers 5?
Two elephants in the room sit between fans and Marvel Studios. Firstly, when Avengers 5 will be announced, and secondly, if the Russo brothers will return to direct it.
After the Scarlett Johansson legal battle with Disney, it was reported that the Russo Bros. had reached an impasse in negotiations to direct another MCU film. Additionally, Joe Russo has doubled down on the idea of producing original IP, rather than another comic book movie:
“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.”
Does this mean there's a zero percent chance that they never return to Marvel? Of course not, but it does put in question the desire they truly have to embark on another Avengers film. Any MCU film is a taxing, difficult process, but an Avengers film is on an entirely different level considering scheduling, set design, scale, and post-production work.
In regards to who any of the "old friends" could be, The Electric State must have an actress to play a teenage girl. That doesn't seem like a fit for who they've worked with previously at Marvel, but a robot could need voiceover work. Maybe Robert Downey Jr. would make a good robot. If any robot needed a female voice, Scarlett Johansson already has experience from her role in 2013's Her.
It will be interesting to see which "old friends" appear in the Russo Bros.' latest directorial project, but the wait continues to see if they'll ever return to Marvel Studios.
All of the Russo Brothers' MCU films are streaming now on Disney+.