Anthony Russo and Joe Russo

Following on from the Samuel L. Jackson interview earlier today, we get to hear from the men behind the camera, Anthony Russo, Joe Russo who Direct Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In the interview, we get to hear where the influences came from to create this fantastic Marvel movie, how action was such an important part of how the movie was put together and what we can expect from both Captain America 3 and The Avengers 2.

Finally there’s a great section on why they believe Marvel is so far ahead of DC and whether they think DC and Warner will ever be able to catch up. It’s a fabulous interview and make sure you keep checking back over the next couple of days for more.

Please note, some of this interview this contains spoilers to Captain America: The Winter Soldier


Did you talk to Joe Johnston who did the first movie ahead of shooting this one?

We didn’t talk to him until after we shot the movie. Because ‘Cap’ was frozen for seven years and comes up in a different time period, there was a natural…. and in the first movie, there was a wonderful love letter to the golden-age origins of Captain America and the period. This movie was very important to us to pull him into present day. We didn’t want to do the old Cap stuck-in-the-past character, we really wanted to give him a very contemporary world and find himself in a different world. The continuity beat from that movie had to do with more of the extensive nature of the character with Peggy Carter etc. Our influences on comics were different, I started collection when Frank Miller released the Dark Knight series and people started deconstructing the silver-age and golden-age characters.

It feels like you’ve taken influence from The Ultimate too?

We did, clearly Falcon is inspired by The Ultimate, again that’s a deconstructionist approach to The Avenger. Anything which deconstructs is more exciting to us. One of the first books I ever bought was a Falcon Captain America team-up; I used to imagine Steve McQueen playing Captain America in my head because it would give  the character a bit more bite. I often found some of Captain America was a little boy-scouty and when we got the chance to make a Captain America movie, those were the things we wanted to correct about the character.

Do you think kids will be a little disappointed with this new Captain America after seeing The Avengers thinking they were going to get more of the same?

When I saw Empire Strikes back, I showed up at the theatre at 11am and I left at 11pm and I think I saw the movie 7 times. Of the Star Wars films it’s still my favourite and I think that’s because it is the most adult. I think we can only make the film based on our own taste and hopefully they like it.

How involved was Ed Brubaker?

That’s one of my favourite comic book runs ever was that Winter Soldier run so as a collector, to be faithful to the tone of those books was of the most importance to us.

As brothers, did you have any arguments on set?

We’ve been doing it for so long that we don’t care! We grew up listening to a lot of the same tapes, reading the same books.

What are you action movie influences?

I’m a big action fan. I go on YouTube and type in ‘action sequences’ and just watch them. We studied the chase scene in the French Connection when we were 20 years old just because we loved it so much. The car chase for Fury, The French Connection, Ronin, we had people break out the clips from that to our stunt team and told them what we loved about it. Oh The Raid, we LOVE The Raid.

How does Scarlett Johansson fit into this?

She’s one of the best actors working today. She gives an amazing performance and some of our favourite scenes in the movie are with her. She really helps ground the movie and has a complicated arc. She probably has a better arc than Captain America because she comes to a self realisation in the movie. That was the appeal to have the character in the movie with Cap, we knew they’d be an odd couple and draw things out of each other than other characters couldn’t.

In some territories the title is different e.g. in ‘Germany it’s The Return of the First Avenger’, did you have any influence?

We don’t. We had influence in The Winter Soldier. There was no title and we came up with five or six and our favourite was The Winter Soldier.

What do we know of Captain America 3?

We started the story and we know the direction we’re going to go in. What i will say is based on the end of this film, clearly the Winter Soldier story isn’t finished and clearly there’s more to tell. The relationship between Captain America and The Winter Soldier is unresolved.

Is any of that picked up in Avengers 2?

There’s a little bit of a handoff but The Avengers films are built in a way that it’s about the group. Joss will certainly address individual story arcs but it’s really about the group. The main link to this and the next Avengers is that SHIELD has now fallen and that’s the starting point of Avengers.

How much say does Producer Kein Feige have into how the storylines develop to continue future franchises?

Anything Kevin wants in is in very early, like the fall of SHIELD, Kevin was insistent saying ‘I want to shake it up’ saying ‘We’ve been doing this for nine movies now and let’s turn it on it’s head’. He’s very very supportive of creative vision, we’ve had more creative freedom and less interference than we’ve had on any project in our lives and is very supportive of the Director’s vision.

That’s part of Kevin’s brilliance is that he doesn’t want to encumber you, he wants you to be free to play and do things he didn’t expect.

How much connection do you have to the people who make Agents of SHIELD?

We don’t Kevin is the nexus point for all of that.

Would you say that after Captain America 3 that his story is told?

It may be told for us but as we’ve said in the books there are lots of writers and artists who’ve worked on every superhero for the last seventy years and they all bring a different point of view to it and that’s what’s so special about Marvel cinematic universe is that we can can keep bringing in new voices. In our brains it was also a two parter.

Do you think Warner and DC have any chance to catch up to Marvel?

Here’s the thing we’ll say about that, the difference between Marvel and DC is Kevin Feige. Marvel has an auteur Producer driving the car, Warner is a bit more patchwork. You have a visionary at Marvel who can cohese the universe, it’s a very unique thing. As a comic book fan, I just want to see good comic book movies made, i get just as excited as any one else, I’m dying to see Superman Batman, you want it to be good, but Kevin Feige is the secret sauce at Marvel!