BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 18: US director Anthony Russo and his brother US director Joe Russo attend the The Gray Man Netflix special screening at Zoopalast on July 18, 2022 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Tristar Media/WireImage)
Movies - TV
The Russo Brother Credit Community For Their MCU Careers
Long before their MCU careers, Anthony and Joe Russo found their footing while working on “Community,” which would eventually lead to directing films like “Avengers: Endgame.” The beloved show was a meta, subversive take on the sitcom genre that became famous for its pop culture references and homages while exploring the core study group’s dynamics.
Joe Russo explained that working with the traditional sitcom formula would have stifled their creative process and asked creator Dan Harmon, “What if we started applying genre on a weekly basis to the show, to make it fresh?” Joe continued, “We started experimenting with genre, which is great for us, because we were pop-culture junkies growing up, and this was a really interesting playground.”
That genre experimentation would eventually catch the eye of Marvel Studio’s president and producer, Kevin Feige, who also shared a passion for pop culture, specifically “Star Wars.” In the “Community” two-part paintball episode the duo directed, they paid homage to “Star Wars,” and Feige later contacted them asking “if we had any interest in comic books,” which they did.
The action-oriented Season 2 finale of “Community” set the stage for their MCU debut, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” and the film was praised for its action. Anthony and Joe Russo haven’t forgotten their time on “Community,” as the audience can find some of the show’s cast members in minor roles in their MCU films.