More developments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are happening as news has surfaced about a three-year, first-look deal between Sony and the directors of Captain America: Civil War, Joe and Anthony Russo. While the precise meaning of this still remains unclear, a few pieces of the Marvel puzzle are starting to come together, including some ideas on what role the Russos will play in Phase 3. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the deal is effective beginning this April, which is when Captain America: Civil War begins shooting. Coincidentally, Joss Whedon’s contract with Marvel ends this June, so that role could be a very big one.
We just found out this week that Drew Goddard will be writing and directing the next solo Spider-Man movie, set to be released in July 2017, so this could mean that the Russos will be on board as producers. Some have posited that the Russos could be directing the final two installments of The Avengers (that has not been confirmed), which are set for release in 2018 and 2019. While the official statement from Sony’s production presidents Michael De Luca and Hannah Minghella doesn’t mention Marvel, the timing seems to coincide with the Russos taking Sony — and Spidey — with them on the Marvel journey throughout the latter’s next phase:
“Joe and Anthony Russo have demonstrated their ability to bring excitement, audacity and phenomenal commercial success to a variety of genres and endeavors, and we are proud to add them to the family. Their original voices and fearless execution are a tremendous addition to our studio.”
And the Russos’ statement certainly sounds like an all-encompassing role that goes beyond just directing:
We’re thrilled to make a home at Sony Pictures, and to be partnering with the entire team. The studio has created an environment that is not only collaborative, but truly filmmaker-friendly and we’re excited to begin developing both new and ambitious material with them.
Then again, there is a reason why I don’t play the lottery and make everyday mistakes: I’m not psychic. All I have is my semi-reliable Speculatron 5000 and the equally reliable blogosphere, with whom I would totally trust with my life…?
The deal also likely includes non-Marvel movies; the Russos are directing The Gray Man for Sony at some point during their increasingly busy schedule. (Hey, even Joss Whedon was able to squeeze in Much Ado About Nothing. Don’t underestimate creative multitaskers.)
Does this mean that the Russo brothers have gone from quirky TV directors to Marvel’s next creative Grand Poobahs? It certainly looks that way, but until we hear some official confirmation, we’ll just be writing geeky Kevin Feige business deal fan fiction in our heads, which is way more fun than it sounds.