One of the more interesting arguments to stem from Joe and Anthony Russo’s incredibly successful tenure as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe also seems a touch unfair. Are the siblings great directors in their own right? Or are they just better than anyone else at nailing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s formula for blockbuster escapism?
The Russos had only helmed low budget crime caper Welcome to Collinwood and frothy comedy You, Me and Dupree before boarding the MCU with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, their first effort behind the camera in eight years. Steve Rogers’ solo sequel, Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame are all arguably among the best outings in the franchise’s back catalogue, but recent Tom Holland drama Cherry received a tepid response at best.
The Russos are back in the big budget realm with Netflix’s The Gray Man, and we’re hearing from our sources – the same ones who told us Ahsoka Tano would appear in Season 2 of The Mandalorian months before Rosario Dawson’s casting was announced – that Lucasfilm are reportedly eying them to helm a Star Wars movie, although it’s not clear if it would be the one produced by Kevin Feige, the only of the three in development that doesn’t have a director.
Of course, every notable director in Hollywood has found themselves on a Star Wars shortlist at one point or another, and Zack Snyder’s mooted spinoff that was ultimately abandoned even resurfaced eight years later as an entirely different movie.
Looking at their track record when it comes to taking a beloved IP and crafting a crowd-pleasing slice of entertainment packed with standout action sequences, there are definitely more inspired choices out there, but few more qualified or capable.