Joe Russo In Iowa City


Art by Estie Dillard

Robert Strang and Orson Codd

Director Joe Russo came to The Little Theater Monday afternoon to dive into questions about the newest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Avengers Infinity War”. The seats were filled as students gathered to ask the director questions over his new movie and career.

“I thought it was really cool. It was interesting to get a new perspective, everybody has a perspective as a viewer but it was very cool see his perspective and how he made the movie,” said Ivan Johnson ‘18.

Russo, along with his co-director and brother Anthony Russo, has worked on other Marvel movies such as “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, “Captain America: Civil War” and next year’s “Avengers 4”. Both brothers got their start in the TV world of the entertainment industry. Thiey worked on famous shows such as “Arrested Development” and “Community”, winning an Emmy for their work on “Arrested Development”.

Russo talked about various surprises/spoilers that occurred during the movie. However, he made sure to keep his silence about questions retaining to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and how “Avengers 4” would play into that, along with the predecessors “Ant-Man and The Wasp” and “Captain Marvel”.

Russo talked about the process of working with a great number of characters, “There is upwards of 6000 people working, so you’re basically running an army unit. A Lot of that is about communication and how you communicate what you want to other people and you have to do it efficiently,” said Russo. Keeping track of all the actors and their own schedules, as well as the directing the movie.

Russo also expressed that he was a Spider-Man fan throughout his whole childhood and that it was a pleasure to work with Tom Holland and officially bring the character into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Russo talked about the whole process from planning to production, he told the students that “directing an action movie is much like a comedy movie”. He explained that action films, as well as comedies, have a beat and a rhythm and that the movie is balanced with action and emotion.

“Directing comedy and action are almost identical,” Russo said. “They are very geometric. A lot of it comes down to where the camera angles and how a scene is staged. The action scenes are very similar to the some of the gags we staged in shows like Arrested Development.”

When asked about the importance of female characters within the Marvel Universe, Russo commented that “female heroes within the MCU are vitally important, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is only going to get more diverse from here. Everyone should be able to identify with a character from a gender standpoint, from a cultural standpoint, and from a sexual orientation standpoint. It is our duty as directors, and Marvels duty as a studio to bring you those characters you can identify with.”

Hawkeye’s absence in “Avengers: Infinity War” also came up during the Q&A. All Russo could say is that “Hawkeye will have an incredible arc in Avengers 4”.

Later that night, Russo gave a lecture at The Englert. He then went into depth about his journey into film and how going to the University of Iowa was a huge importance in his life and his filmmaking. Russo also talked about how he views filmmaking back then and still today.

“If you want to be a good carpenter, you build a lot of tables. If you want to be a good filmmaker, film a lot of movies,” Russo said. “TV is a great way to become a good filmmaker. You get to film a lot because of how many episodes there are.”

Both brothers plan to bring a lot to the table within the next year due to the success of “Avengers Infinity War”.