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After directing four Marvel movies, including the climactic chapter of The Infinity Saga, Avengers: Endgame, the Russo Brothers have made it pretty clear that they are done making movies in the MCU, at least for now. But if not movies, could they still direct one of the many MCU shows coming to Disney+? Probably not, because the Russo Brothers aren’t interested in directing Marvel’s Disney+ shows. Joe Russo explained their reasoning, saying:
I think after you go on the journey that we went on –—because there is a comprehensive narrative, an overarching story from Winter Soldier all the way to the end of Endgame that involves Tony and Cap, through Civil War, through Infinity War — I think that scale of ambition in storytelling is a bug that's bit us. And we're compelled to tell more stories on that scale, with that sort of years-long ambition to them.
The Russo Brothers don’t want to direct one of Marvel’s Disney+ shows because they are interested in storytelling opportunities on a much bigger scale. The Russos directed the biggest films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date, and over the course of their tenure, they created a four-film narrative arc that took the characters on an epic and emotional journey. That experience seems to have changed their interests as storytellers.
The Disney+ shows like WandaVision, Loki and Ms. Marvel will surely be grand and ambitious in their own right as they are meant to fit in with the cinematic side of the MCU, but they won’t and can’t be as big as the one-two punch of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. That’s why those shows don’t interest the directing duo.
The Russo Brothers went on a journey as filmmakers in the MCU, and as Joe Russo told SYFY Wire, the scale and ambition of that journey is something that really appealed to them. Prior to their time in the MCU, the brothers were known for directing TV comedies like Community and Arrested Development. But after the four Marvel movies, they’re not keen on going back to something smaller, even the Disney+ shows, at least not now.
The Russos got bit by the epic movie bug at Marvel, and now they’re hooked and want to tell more stories on that massive scale. This isn’t a knock on the Marvel Disney+ shows, but they would not afford the Russo Brothers the opportunity to tell stories at that level, and that’s where their interests lie. They want to tell grand stories with years-long ambition to them.
You can’t blame the Russos for not wanting to do the Disney+ Marvel shows. They found a type of storytelling that they like and they’re good at, and they want to do more of that. And their success affords the freedom and opportunity to do so. Good for them. It’s not like they’re looking for something easy either; after the herculean task of Infinity War and Endgame they still want to pursue wildly ambitious projects that could be years in the making.
Although the Russos directing episodes of Marvel’s Disney+ shows would certainly be cool, with them stepping aside, it affords new filmmakers and storytellers the opportunity to put their own stamp on the MCU. Those filmmakers could one day be the next Russo Brothers in the MCU, going on to direct the biggest event movies.
The Russo Brothers might be done in the MCU for now and won’t be directing any of the Disney+ shows, but that doesn’t mean they’ll stay gone forever. The brothers have hinted that getting to play with new (to the MCU) characters like the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer could attract them to come back. But for now they have plenty on their plates outside of the world of Marvel superheroes.