Even with all the incredible additions that the MCU has seen in the past 18 months, nothing has topped the success or the hype of 2019's Avengers: Endgame. Featuring Joe and Anthony Russo in the director's chair, the fourth Avengers movie came as a true culmination event for Earth's Mightiest Heroes before Phase 4 started in January 2021.
Last year then became the biggest ever for MCU content, including a franchise-record four movies in one year to kick off Phase 4 between July and December. This included a brand-new solo film in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and a debut team-up effort in Eternals, while Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow and Tom Holland's Spider-Man: No Way Home added to stories that helped make the Infinity Saga so successful.
Even though the Russos aren't set to officially return to the MCU yet, they've kept their eye on everything that's come from Marvel Studios since they delivered the second-highest grossing movie of all time. Now, in a recent interview, half of that duo revealed what his favorite new movie is from this new slate of projects.
Joe Russo's Favorite Phase 4 MCU Movie
Avengers: Endgame director Joe Russo revealed that Spider-Man: No Way Home is his favorite MCU movie from Phase 4 in an interview with Den of Geek.
Russo heaped praise upon No Way Home, calling it "fantastic" and "pitch-perfect," describing it as one of his best experiences in a movie theater in a long time. He also loved that he wasn't directly involved with the movie himself, giving him the chance to enjoy all the laughs and surprises with everybody else sitting next to him:
“I thought No Way Home was unbelievable. It was fantastic. I thought it was pitch-perfect. It was one of the best times I’ve had in the movie theater in a long time, and it was nice not being involved. As a film geek, I could just go sit in a theater and be surprised and laugh and cry with everyone else in the movie theater.”
Specifically, Russo noted how this movie brought fans from all over together after so much difficulty and division through the global pandemic and through the state of American politics:
“I think the one thing that Marvel doesn’t get enough credit for is what else bonded people after such a divisive time during the pandemic and after all this manufactured conflict that’s been playing out in America over the last four years? But going into a theater, race, color, creed, whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, it doesn’t matter.”
Russo then gave credit to Marvel Studios as a whole for bringing people "together as a community" better than anyone in the filmmaking business. And even for as good as Marvel's been at doing that with its films, Russo sees No Way Home as a movie that takes that concept to a new level entirely:
“The power of filmmaking is its ability to bind people together as a community in a public space, respective of background. And Marvel does that better than anyone, and I don’t think they get enough credit for that. And if that is the true power of what filmmaking is, then they’re certainly the most potent filmmaking entity on the planet because you go into one of those theaters, and, boy, there’s a lot of joy and happiness, and emotion, and excitement going on in one of their films. And you just don’t see that on any other movie. Even, historically, I’m not sure that you’ve seen that level of excitement on any film other than when Marvel’s operating at the top of their game.”
Endgame Director Loves What Spider-Man Delivered
In many respects, Spider-Man: No Way Home is right up there with Avengers: Endgame as a movie that seems like it shouldn't exist when put on paper. Bringing together all three live-action Spideys and five past villains while introducing the Multiverse to the MCU was about as tall of an order as any solo movie has had on its plate, but the threequel delivered in spades.
Even beyond its plot, Russo loved how the MCU's third Spider-Man movie brought the fandom together in a way that hadn't been seen since his own efforts on Endgame and its predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War. Nearly crossing $2 billion at the global box office, fans across the world couldn't get enough of what Marvel and Sony brought to the table and united over how special the moment was in the Spider-Man legacy.
Experiencing the film as a fan also lent well to Russo's experience, allowing him to find out about all of No Way Home's secrets as they appeared in marketing and in the movie itself as it premiered. This is something that had been building for him since the threequel broke Endgame's record for the most-viewed trailer ever to which he offered his own congratulations after it became official.
Getting praise that high from one of Marvel's biggest directing names is something that Sony and Marvel can hang their hats on as the threequel looked to truly make its mark as one of the most ambitious superhero movies ever made.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now available via digital and physical home release.