Directors Joe and Anthony Russo Talk AGENT CARTER, the Advantages of a Shorter Season, the Extent of Their Involvement with the Show, and More

by     Posted 113 days ago

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Though Marvel Studios’ first foray into television, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., was a bit of a misfire, hopes are high for the studio’s next series.  Based on the Marvel One-Shot short film of the same name, Agent Carter will follow the exploits of Hayley Atwell’s titular character in the year 1946—just after Cap’s disappearance from The First Avenger—as she is marginalized while working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve) when the men return home from World War II.  It has a well-tested premise, a clear story trajectory, and most promisingly, the first season will consist of only eight episodes rather than trying to stretch the story out to 22 installments.

While the show doesn’t premiere until midseason on ABC, bridging the gap between the S.H.I.E.L.D. winter hiatus and spring premiere, Steve recently spoke with Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo in anticipation of the Blu-ray release of the Marvel film, and the two talked a bit about their involvement with the Agent Carter TV show.  They confirmed that they will direct episodes 2 and 3, discussed the advantages of a shorter episode order, and talked about how involved they will be with the series going forward.  Hit the jump to see what they had to say.

hayley-atwell-agent-carterAs veteran TV directors whose credits include Arrested Development and Community, the Russo brothers are very well-versed in the TV world.  But it was actually their involvement with The Winter Soldier that brought them to directing two episodes of Agent Carter:

ANTHONY RUSSO: This is very much a baby project of Louis D’Esposito who’s one of the co-heads at Marvel.  He directed the Marvel One-Shot that the series is based on, so he asked us.  It’s kind of nice to get the people who have been connected to the Captain America storyline involved in helping to launch that show about a character who’s so critical to this universe.

That said, the two did mention that they are big proponents of shorter season orders, expressing their delight to hear that Agent Carter would be taking this route:

JOE RUSSO: And we love that they’re doing a limited run of it because it’s easier to maintain quality over a lower amount of episodes.  I think everything’s lined up for a really, really good show there.” 

ANTHONY RUSSO: We’ve been saying this for years, because working in network television it’s so hard to deliver that many episodes; it’s brutal—especially with a show that has an ambitious production dimension to it.  It’s crushing.

agent-carter-hayley-atwellThey also said that the shorter season makes it easier to execute a show with a high concept like Agent Carter:

JOE RUSSO: Like you said, high concept, it only sustains for a certain amount of episodes then you just start treading water.  So then you just reach a point where you’re like, ‘Okay 14 of our episodes are gonna be great and 8 are gonna be fine,’ because you just can’t fill 22 episodes of high concept… [Eight episodes] is great because it’s a period show so it allows them to have a larger budget, eight’s the right number, eight is an eight-hour movie.  Everything makes sense about it, I’m glad that it’s being done in this format. 

captain-america-3-joe-russo-anthony-russo-chris-evansAs for how involved they’ll be with the series, the Russo brothers have their hands full preparing to direct Captain America 3 early next year, so they’re mainly just focused on helming their two episodes:

ANTHONY RUSSO: [We’re] mostly on the outside.  We definitely have had some conversations with [screenwriters] Markus and McFeely and Louis D’Esposito, but we haven’t been spending time in the writers room.

JOE RUSSO: There’s been a little bit of just general conversations about our experience in television and potential pitfalls, things to look out for.  Creatively, Markus and McFeely are heavily involved, D’Esposito is heavily involved.  We’ll get a script two weeks before we shoot and then we’ll give our input. 

The duo also confirmed that The Winter Soldier director Joe Johnston is in talks to helm the fourth episode of the series, ensuring that the launch of Agent Carter will have one hell of a pedigree behind it.

Watch the portion of Steve’s interview regarding Agent Carter below, and if you missed what they had to say about Captain America 3, click here.

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Agent Carter TV Show News Joe Russo Anthony Russo




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  • One of Nine

    I think will be awesome and Agent Carter (Hayley) is delicious.. I don’t think Agents of Shield started very well but I really did enjoy the back half of the season and became a fan by the season finale.

  • http://www.betadays.co.uk/ Kinanswer

    Correction: The duo also confirmed that The First Avenger director Joe Johnston is in talks to helm the fourth episode of the series. EDIT: Corrected my correction ;)

    • schwartzzy17

      Joe Johnston

  • Pernell Whitaker

    Yo, lets keep it 100 folks… This is gonna be absolute dog sh*t, just like Agents of SHIELD. Marvel need to ease off the MCU gas pedal, and get some quality control back. I could barely finish Thor 2 & Cap 2.

    • Ari

      I can’t understand why, for the life of me, NCIS:SHIELD got a second season with such so-so ratings…

      • Pernell Whitaker

        Totally agree with you Ari. Marvel is just seen as a money-making machine at the moment though, so unfortunately they’ll be backed on anything and everything until stuff starts tanking… Which might not be so far off if things don’t change. The superhero genre bubble will burst eventually.

      • Bob

        Not fr awhile. It might have been in danger but with grat quality films like X-Men:DofP, Cap 2, and Gaurdians being amazing and box offices smashes I think the bubble will not pop for a long time.

      • Lovecraftlives

        Agree! Those other dudes don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. Agents of Shield and Marvel are here for the long haul.

      • Bob

        Not fr awhile. It might have been in danger but with grat quality films like X-Men:DofP, Cap 2, and Gaurdians being amazing and box offices smashes I think the bubble will not pop for a long time.

    • Bob

      Calm down, you do realize your in a small minority that thinked Cap 2 sucked? Really small. Dont state things like there fact or just considered by most people. Cap 2 was a great film, and is considered that by most people.

      • Pernell Whitaker

        I’m calmer than a chicken at Christmas Bob. Cap 2 was like watching a kids film, every plot point was so telegraphed it was painful.

      • Micheal bay

        Then you should clearly stop watching comic book movies altogether

      • Pernell Whitaker

        Ohhh sorry, not enjoying some marvel flicks recently means I hate all comic movies. Say something worthwhile or keep it zipped brother.

      • Micheal bay

        I just did broseph. Come up with a better comeback next time

      • MJ

        “broseph”?

        You are moron, and probably a racist as well.

      • Micheal bay

        Well I am a member of the kkk

      • MJ

        Even they have to much class to admit you, you little mama’s boy loser.

      • Michael bay

        Enjoyed getting raped by your father didn’t you, you little cocksucker?

      • MJ

        MAMA’S BOY ALERT !!!

      • Micheal bay

        Is that the best you can do you worthless piece of shit?

      • MJ

        MAMA’S BOY ALERT !!!!

      • P. Damien

        MJ, congrats for exposing this crepe. As a psychologist, I can confirm that you are most likely correct here. Men like him typically have severe mother relationship issues. In many cases, they are unhealthily attracted to their mothers and in ways that are unacceptable to society.

      • MJ

        Thanks P. Yes, he represents a classic case of someone who both despises his mother, plus has an unhealthy attraction for his mother. This leads him to the sort of sociopathic, out-of-control troll behavior that he has been exhibiting in his posts here. Classic case of a completely messed up childhood with mother issues.

        Notice how he got really upset when I started bringing up he was a “mama’s boy.” Obviously, I hit that nerve there.

      • Micheal bay

        Lmao you obviously suck at psychology!!! Now I just feel sorry for you…say hi to your mother for me!

      • Micheal bay

        Oh look it’s the devil himself

      • Micheal bay

        Papas boy alert!!!!

      • Michael bay

        You are a worthless nigger and you should kill yourself

      • MJ

        LOL.

        L O S E R ! ! ! ! !

        We got ourselves a little mama’s boy here!

      • Michael bay

        And we got a child molester here. What a loser!!!

      • MJ

        MAMA’S BOY ALERT !!

      • Michael bay

        And we got a child molester here. What a loser!!!

      • Michael bay

        And we got a child molester here. What a loser!!!

      • Eskay

        Michael Bay, I’d call you an ass-wipe, but that would be an insult to toilet paper and shit…they deserve better.

      • Eskay

        Michael Bay, I’d call you an ass-wipe, but that would be an insult to toilet paper and shit…they deserve better.

      • Michael bay

        Oh I thought that was your name since I wiped my ass all over your ugly mug

      • Eskay

        Michael Bay, I’d call you an ass-wipe, but that would be an insult to toilet paper and shit…they deserve better.

      • Eskay

        Michael Bay, I’d call you an ass-wipe, but that would be an insult to toilet paper and shit…they deserve better.

      • Pernell Whitaker

        That wasn’t a comeback tho, it was a simple reply to a simpleton statement… Spiderman 1 & 2, Batman Begins, TDK, Iron Man, Avengers, Batman Returns, GOTG. Love them all. What now hombre?

      • Michael bay

        Lmao you loved those movies but hated winter soldier which easily bests most of them?

      • Pernell Whitaker

        It doesn’t even come close to any of them though.

      • https://twitter.com/dnwilliams dnwilliams

        Batman Returns is hot garbage son.

      • Pernell Whitaker

        I’ve forgotten more than you’ll ever know about movies homie

      • Lovecraftlives

        Batman Returns is good, and the last good Batman from that period.

      • https://twitter.com/dnwilliams dnwilliams

        Batman Returns is terribad, but there were no good Batman films from that period.

      • Michael bay

        That’s just sad man…

      • Pernell Whitaker

        This conversation is sadder. The end.

      • Michael bay

        Whatever nigger. You have shit taste in movies. The end

      • Pernell Whitaker

        Oooo good comeback. Racism is so cool. Lol what a dickhead.

      • Michael bay

        That’s right dickhead. Racism is cool now. You can fuck off now…

      • MJ

        …your mama said.

      • Michael bay

        Your mama is a cock sucking whore

      • MJ

        MAMA’S BOY ALERT !

      • Pernell Whitaker

        I called you a dickhead, then you call me one. You are about as sharp as a pillow, lol catch up slow coach.

      • Michael bay

        And you think you are smart you fucking dipshit??

      • Pernell Whitaker

        Whoa, easy there cowboy, now you just sound like an angry little boy. Lets leave it here, it’ll be less embarrassing for you.

      • Micheal bay

        Actually you have only embarrassed yourself so far and since it’s obvious your getting tired il stop now…

      • Pernell Whitaker

        Getting bored now more like. This banter is shocking, you’ve got no bants whatsoever. Paint would get bored watching you dry.

      • Micheal bay

        Sigh you bore me to death…

      • Pernell Whitaker

        Lol, u keep repeating what I say! You’re banter is into the so bad it’s good territory now. I bet you are really funny when you don’t mean to be, I like you kid, you’re alright. #TopBants

      • Michael bay

        Why thank you! See you around!

      • Pernell Whitaker

        I called you a dickhead, then you call me one. You are about as sharp as a pillow, lol catch up slow coach.

      • Pernell Whitaker

        I called you a dickhead, then you call me one. You are about as sharp as a pillow, lol catch up slow coach.

      • Batnut1992

        If you loved Iron Man than there was no reason that you couldn’t enjoy Cap 2. What did Iron Man actually do better than Cap 2? Cap 2 easily had more action, better fight scenes, definitely a better climax set in between Falcon, Widow and Cap, I enjoyed Hydra and Robert Pierce over Obadiah “Evil Businessmen” Stane.

      • Pernell Whitaker

        Well, I would say it’s mainly because iron man came out in 2008 and felt very fresh and original, you’ll notice I didn’t put any of the iron man sequels either. Marvel are basically regurgitating the same story over and again, it really is like watching episodes that build towards a pay off in an avengers movie. I just found cap 2 unbelievably formulaic, obvious and predictable.

      • Pernell Whitaker

        Ohhh sorry, not enjoying some marvel flicks recently means I hate all comic movies. Say something worthwhile or keep it zipped brother.

      • Micheal bay

        Then you should clearly stop watching comic book movies altogether

      • Pernell Whitaker

        I’m calmer than a chicken at Christmas Bob. Cap 2 was like watching a kids film, every plot point was so telegraphed it was painful.

    • Bob

      Calm down, you do realize your in a small minority that thinked Cap 2 sucked? Really small. Dont state things like there fact or just considered by most people. Cap 2 was a great film, and is considered that by most people.

    • Dan

      What’s happening with the MCU wight now is truly groundbreaking as a cinematic universe of this size and variety has never even been attempted before. It is honestly in your best interests to really try to enjoy the films and shows without being too skeptical, because if so many other people like it, it shouldn’t be hard for you to get into it after watching it with an open mind. The MCU has gotten me so excited for its future, and I feel bad for anyone who’s not following it, you’re really missing out.

      • theseeker7

        when you step back a minute to take a look at it, I do consider myself pretty lucky that I’m alive and (sort of) in the prime of my life when things like this are happening in the MCU, as well as something like the Harry Potter saga being entirely pulled off.

        I mean you think about it, the Lion, Witch & Wardrobe books were/are considered pretty damn beloved in the history of fiction, maybe not quite up at the same level as Lord Of The Rings, but closer to it than not. And look at them, the thing totally petered out after, what, 3 feature films (& that I don’t even think maintained much of the same cast). Makes you really appreciate what WB was able to accomplish with Potter, knocking the entire series out and with the same cast the whole time. Sure, you can still argue on not all of the films being home runs themselves, but still at the end of the day the point is it was able to be done. Between that, and what Marvel has been able to pull off so far… it’s kind of amazing.

    • Dan

      What’s happening with the MCU wight now is truly groundbreaking as a cinematic universe of this size and variety has never even been attempted before. It is honestly in your best interests to really try to enjoy the films and shows without being too skeptical, because if so many other people like it, it shouldn’t be hard for you to get into it after watching it with an open mind. The MCU has gotten me so excited for its future, and I feel bad for anyone who’s not following it, you’re really missing out.

    • doc

      Cap 2, really? What do you consider good then?

      • Michael bay

        Probably some Tyler perry movies!

    • SorryNotSorry

      Cap 2 was fucking awesome. Thor 2? Meh.

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  • eternalozzie

    more super hero crap without super heroes … fail

  • eternalozzie

    more super hero crap without super heroes … fail

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  • http://villings.tumblr.com/ [A]

    I’m sure it’ll be pretty good. Great, even.

  • MJ

    Why are they running away from the title. The Disney marketing types are doing it again.

    It should be…

    Agent Carter of Mars!

  • theseeker7

    Hey I’d been saying for a long damn time that AGENTS OF SHIELD should’ve been shooting for something closer to a 16 episode first season. And I’d consider myself to be one who liked it overall better than most.

    mind you, if they’d done that shorter run, it wouldn’t have necessarily meant they couldn’t still aim for certain episodes around/in relation to the films. They still could’ve measured it out so that one run of episodes hit the air right after Cap 2.

    • SorryNotSorry

      I read a good critique that suggested the show should have started in the spring and spent four or five episodes pre-Cap2 before tearing it all down. It would have cut away a lot of the fat.

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  • SorryNotSorry

    That’s a really good set of directors for the first four episodes. There seems to be a lot of confidence and interest among the Marvel Studios creatives.

  • TheMuppetManiac

    I hope the people behind S.H.I.E.L.D. fix the problems with the show. We were told it would expand the Marvel universe, but it really hasn’t. It hasn’t even enhanced the movies in any way. I mean Captain America 2 did more in one movie than the whole season of S.H.I.E.L.D.

  • seanmanband

    Joe Johnston directed The First Avenger not Winter Soldier…proofreading! Anyway, excited for this series…bout time a Marvel franchise features a woman in the lead…

  • Steven

    So we get an Agents Of Shield and Agent Carter show and no Punisher Tv show.

    Marvel, only cares about Avengers related shite.

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  • pistachiowildebeest

    “The duo also confirmed that The Winter Soldier director Joe Johnston is in talks to helm the fourth episode of the series”

    Captain America 1/The First Avenger director Joe Johnston

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