If Anthony and Joe Russo are still physically standing after helming the gargantuan Avengers: Infinity War and its untitled sequel, their next gig apparently will not be with 20th Century Fox. Per Variety, the two parties have parted ways after informally agreeing to a financing and distribution deal back in July. The split comes after failed negotiations.
The two brothers, who previously directed Captain America films The Winter Soldier and Civil War, were hoping for “richer financial terms than the ones the studio offers to top directors such as James Cameron and Steven Spielberg,” according to the report. Fox was unwilling to shoulder much of the financial risk that came with these film projects, unspecified to the public.
The Russo brothers have exploded in Hollywood as a result of their work with Marvel Studios, and have since been building their own production company, recently opening up office space in Los Angeles. The two made their name as directors and executive producers on beloved television comedies Arrested Development and Community. While talks fell through between the duo and Fox, 20th Century Fox chairman and CEO Stacey Snider noted in an email that the studio was open to working with the two on individual projects that fit well, saying “the door to the studio was wide open.” What could have resulted from the deal, in the brothers’ own words, were “little movies, big movies, hard R, edgy films, arty films and big giant tentpole movies.”
The timing of the news is curious, as today also saw a bombshell CNBC story on the potential sale of most of 21st Century Fox (the parent company of 20th Century Fox) to The Walt Disney Company. The two stories coming out on the same day may be entirely a coincidence, but it’s an interesting one nonetheless.
The Russo brothers have had their names attached to many potential projects over the last few years, including an adaptation of The Warriors for Hulu. The directing duo is currently filming the untitled fourth Avengers movie, with Avengers: Infinity War releasing on May 4, 2018.