TV producers/directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo made headlines last month when they signed on to direct the superhero sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Yesterday, Anthony Russo was on hand at the Television Critics Association Summer Tour to promote his NBC comedy series Animal Practice, and, naturally, the talk shifted to the Marvel Studios project.
Here's what he had to say about why Marvel went with the Community directors.
"Well, first of all, Marvel's this incredible company that has shown in the past that they think outside the box with directors. I mean, it's shocking the people they've hired, over and over again, and they've had great success as a result. They like character, and they like storytelling and they like fun. We were surprised, but they were big fans of Community and you can sort of draw a line between some things we did on Community and a Marvel movie. I think if you look at some of the big genre episodes, the paintball episodes, etc., there's a cinematic sensibility being explored there that is in the language of [various kinds of] films."
He also teased about the ensemble nature of the follow-up.
"I mean, we're trying to grow him as a character, and certainly he's come a long way, from where he started in pre-World War 2 to where he is in modern-day America. So the character has room for growth because of that huge journey that he's been on, Number 1. Number 2, part of the appeal of these movies is the ensemble. Captain America isn't the only character in the film, there are other characters that are perhaps lighter in nature."
The filmmaker also confirmed that the sequel will be set in present day, and will have a darker tone.
"Well, we like the [story]. I can't talk too much about specifics, that's the way Marvel handles things. I can say in general that there's sort of a darker, edgier sensibility at work there that we found appealing, and that is going find its way into Captain [America] in the modern day."
When asked whether there will be flashbacks to the World War II era, the director hinted that they may revisit his roots.
"Certainly Cap has this complicated history. We're making the movie for first-time viewers, not just for fans, so, because Cap does have this complicated history -- he was this skinny guy who became a super-soldier, he was born back then and he's living [now] -- in the storytelling, you need to convey that to an audience who doesn't know Cap's story."