Anthony Russo (born February 3, 1970) and his brother Joseph Vincent "Joe" Russo (born July 8, 1971) are American film and television directors, screenwriters and producers of Italian descent.
They are known to work jointly on most of their projects. They contributed to the production and directing of TV shows such as Arrested Development and Community, but nowadays they're mainly known as the movie directors who helmed the Marvel Cinematic Universe's biggest films (and biggest successes at that).
In addition to writing and directing, Joe also trained as an actor. He has an MFA in performing arts.
Works by them:
- Welcome to Collinwood (2002)
- Arrested Development (2003-2006)
- You, Me and Dupree (2006)
- Community (2009)
- Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Deadly Class (2019) note
- 21 Bridges (2019) note
- Extraction (2020) note
- Extraction 2 (2023)note
- Cherry (2021)
- Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) note
- The Gray Man (2022)
- Untitled The Gray Man sequel
- Untitled The Gray Man spin-off
- Citadel (2023)note
Tropes in their works:
- Conspiracy Thriller: They're big fans of 1970s conspiracy thrillers, and claimed to have borrowed a lot to them when making Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
- Creator Cameo: Joe has cameoed in several works of the duo, usually under the pseudonym "Gozie Agbo" in the credits:
- Joe in Arrested Development.
- Dr. Fine in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
- Dr. Broussard in Captain America: Civil War.
- In Avengers: Endgame, he is a grieving man in Captain America's support group for people who lost loved ones to Thanos' finger snap. He happens to be the first MCU film character who's openly and unambiguously on the LGBTQ spectrum.
- Creator's Pest: The brothers have admitted that part of the reason the Hulk didn't get too much focus during Infinity War and Endgame was because they didn't know what to do with him because of how powerful he is.
- Darker and Edgier: Their contributions to the MCU have been some of the darkest and bleakest movies in the franchise thus far, with grim and nigh-apocalyptic storylines, relatively minimal humor and Grey-and-Gray Morality abounding. Most tellingly, all of their contributions have utilized either a Bittersweet Ending or Downer Ending at the end of the story, with a healthy dose of Nothing Is the Same Anymore, ranging from a status quo shift for the localized group of heroes present in the movie (The Winter Soldier, Civil War) to permanently changing the landscape of the MCU (Infinity War, Endgame).
- He Also Did: During the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020, the brothers started a webseries/podcast of sorts titled "Pizza Film School", where they would take a look at some of the movies that inspired their filmmaking while eating pizza from wherever they ordered from. They usually invite a special guest that was inspired by the film as well. They launched a second season of it in 2023.
- Production Posse: Looking to be the case with Tom Holland, whom they helped bring to stardom with Captain America: Civil War, and who went on to be the lead in the Russos' first post-Marvel directorial project, Cherry. They've also produced a number of films featuring MCU actors they've worked with, including 21 Bridges (Chadwick Boseman) and Extraction (Chris Hemsworth), and their next directorial work, The Gray Man, is set to star Chris Evans (and features writing from Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who wrote all of the Russos' MCU films).
- Running Gag: Their MCU films feature cameos from Community cast members.
- Title In: Whenever there's a cut to a new location in their Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, the new location's name will be indicated with big letters. The sole exception is Captain America: The Winter Soldier, their first MCU film.