We have a consortium of generals
Endgame is definitely one of the most awaited movies of 2019. And it releasing on April 26 in India and we are obviously super excited… Joe Russo, the one half of Russo Brothers, who have helmed 'Avengers: Infinity War', which will premiere on March 24 at 1pm and 9pm on Star Movies, and the 'Endgame'. Joe Russo, who will be visiting India in the first week of April ahead of his visit talks about working with Marvel, challenges, and future of Russo Brothers…
Excerpts from an interview
What's next in store for the Russo brothers after 'Endgame'?
My brother and I love to challenge ourselves; to move around through different media. We've done film, TV, comedy, sci-fi movies and drama. So we're open to all forms of storytelling and I do feel we're in progressive phase right now. I have got four kids under the age of 22 and I see their viewing habits and they are very different from my viewing habits so I think that narrative will continue to evolve. I think part of the driver behind that are the different platforms which frankly if you think about it is telling stories in 6, 8 or 10 hour increments. Binge watching is really a new form of narrative. I can watch a 10-hour movie on a Friday and Saturday night instead of going to the theatre so we're excited about shaking up the storytelling structure.
How has it been working with Marvel?
We love making movies with Marvel. We absolutely love it. We've been making movies with them for the past six years and we're basically a family. We're very close to the people who run Marvel. We've had an amazing experience. We really do prioritise work experience as much as we prioritise the work and because we grew up in an Italian family, everything is about a community, inclusion and feeling like we are a big family. You spend a lot of time with these people so you want to make sure that you get along and you love each other. We're friends at work; we're friends outside of work.
When it comes to the writing process- how close did you guys get in developing 'Avengers' 3 and 4 into very different movies?
Well, we did drafts of this that were radically different. One draft involved Thanos as the narrator; it was non-linear in structure and had a back-story for the Black Order. They were all introduced in very cool sequences but it all ended up being a 250-page draft. Very often when you work on a movie this scale and you wind up with a 250-page draft, it is the bible of the movie. So you gain a lot of information, you write characters in such a way that you start to understand what it is they want. I think writing Thanos' narration gave us an insight into who he was and what he wanted to do. From then on it was much easier to simplify the movie, put all that information out to make it subtext and to create a more linear structure.
'Infinity War' left all of us in shock, right from the beginning to the end. What made you decide that you wanted to start with such an impactful scene of the attack on Thor, Loki and the Asgardians?
We had a draft where Thanos secures the power stone but we thought why don't we start with the middle of the scene, which would knock the audience off balance. Thanos already had the power stone, everyone already has had their ass kicked, and people are already dead. We just thought it would be a more shocking opening that would define him as a character for the rest of the movie.
'Endgame' is definitely one of the most awaited movies of 2019. Especially how 'Infinity War' ended, fans can't wait but Marvel is so successfully secretive about it.
With so many people working, so many departments working on one movie – how do you keep track of who is doing what and how does the movie never leak?
Well, we have a consortium of generals; they are like key collaborative individuals that it takes to make something of this scale. The great thing with us is that we have a room full of trusted advisors and they all each have thousands of people working under them that they have to communicate efficiently with about storytelling, sensitivity of the character. For a film like this that is filled with CG characters, particularly Thanos who has to, in a lot of ways has to carry the emotional center of the movie. We've said this before that it is his film and he is exclusively CG and I would argue that it has been done before in this scale, that this level of emotion was conveyed to an audience. The VFX artists have the hardest task of anyone to make sure that the humanity and the storytelling stays consistent shot to shot throughout the movie and I think they do an amazing job of it.