Joe & Anthony Russo

joeanthonyrusso

Joe & Anthony Russo made their Marvel Studios directorial debut with the critically lauded box office blockbuster Captain America: The Winter Soldier. They broke the opening record for an April release and went on to gross more than $713 million worldwide. Their recently-released follow-up Captain America: Civil War enjoyed the 5th-highest weekend gross in domestic box office history, in addition to widespread praise from both critics and fans. Following Captain America: Civil War, the brothers will direct Avengers: Infinity Wars Pt. 1 and Avengers: Infinity Wars Pt. 2.

The Russo Brothers were born a year apart in Cleveland, Ohio. They began filmmaking in the mid-1990s when they used credit cards and student loans to finance Pieces, an experimental comedy about a criminally inclined trio of brothers. They shot the film in and around Cleveland with the help of numerous friends and family. Their gamble paid off when the film screened at both the Slamdance and American Film Institute festivals in 1997, earning Joe a Best Actor award for the latter.

The Slamdance screening caught the attention Steven Soderbergh, who along with his producing partner George Clooney, asked to produce the Brothers’ second film, the crime comedy Welcome to Collinwood, which was also set and shot in Cleveland.

Kevin Reilly was rebuilding the FX network when he first saw Welcome to Collinwood, and he asked the pair to direct the pilot for his new flagship comedy, Lucky. Set in downtown Las Vegas, Anthony and Joe used handheld camera work and a guerilla shooting style to capture the edgy, absurdist tone of the show, producing a pilot that became an industry favorite.

Among the pilot’s fans was Imagine Entertainment co-founder Ron Howard, who, along with writer Mitch Hurwitz, were both looking to take the well-worn situation comedy in a new direction. The Russo Brothers’ penchant for experimentation seemed the perfect fit for Howard’s desire to get the sitcom out of the soundstage and into the streets.

By shooting Arrested Development on pioneering HD cameras and minimizing the need for complex lighting and crews, the Brothers’ not only opened up a whole new world of creative possibilities, but provided the style for Hurwitz’s self-conscious, rapid-fire writing. A significant gamble for all involved, it paid off at that year’s Emmy awards where Hurwitz won best Writing, the Russo Brothers won best Directing, and Arrested Development won Best Comedy Series. Though Arrested Development would be canceled after just three seasons, few could deny the impact or innovation that earned the series a dedicated critical and cult following.

Between Arrested Development their work with Marvel Studios the Russo Brothers directed and produced a variety of television series across several networks including Community, Happy Endings, LAX, What About Brian, Carpoolers, and Running Wilde.