Timing is a curious thing. When Marvel Studios tapped brothers Joe and Anthony Russo to direct Captain America: The Winter Soldier, those familiar with their work on TV shows like Community and Arrested Development knew their potential, but their hiring felt a bit like Marvel hiring yet another TV veteran to serviceably deliver a movie that was largely put together before the filmmaker came onboard. But the result was a film that won over both audiences and critics alike, and the input/execution of the Russo Brothers was clearly invaluable to the finished product.
Marvel liked the film so much that they quickly signed the Russo Brothers to helm the third Captain America film, which we now know is a biggie: Captain America: Civil War will not only pit Cap versus Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, but it will also introduce Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and, if reports are correct, the brand new Spider-Man.
Which brings us to today’s news: THR reports that Joe and Anthony Russo have signed a three-year, first-look deal with Sony Pictures, where they will develop “both new and ambitious material.” No projects were explicitly revealed as part of the deal, which begins in April, but it’s interesting timing. Sony and Marvel Studios are currently working together to bring a new Spider-Man to the screen, first in an MCU film (probably Civil War), and then in his own new movie, which is likely to be written and directed by Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods).
Around the time of the leaks regarding Sony Pictures, word surfaced that the Russo Brothers were highly enthused by the prospect of sharing the Spider-Man character between Marvel and Sony, going so far as to broach the idea of them helming the new Spider-Man movie. The brothers are currently considered the frontrunners to helm the two-part Avengers: Infinity Wars saga, but this new first-look deal with Sony could suggest that they may (also?) be involved with the new Spider-Man franchise. If they’re going to be the ones to introduce this new Spidey to audiences in Civil War, then it would certainly make sense for them to come into the Sony fold and aid in developing new Spider-Man films and spinoffs.
Obviously most of this is speculation at this point, but it’s possible that months from now we could be looking back on word of this deal and going, “Oh so that’s what they were getting ready to put together.” Or it’s possible that the crux of the Russo brothers’ Sony deal is in regards to new, different, non-superhero projects. At this point we simply don’t know, but this is an interesting development to say the least.
The Russo Brothers are currently gearing up to begin production on Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War this spring. The film is set for release on May 6, 2016.