How Two Italian-American Kids From Cleveland Went on to Take Over Hollywood
Anthony and Joe Russo were raised in Cleveland, Ohio in the early 70s, attended Benedictine High School, and as graduate students at Case Western Reserve University, directed, wrote and produced their first feature, Pieces, which was initially financed with credit cards and then by a supportive Italian-American family who came to their rescue when their resources ran out.
After viewing Pieces at the Slamdance Film Festival, Steven Soderbergh approached the pair and offered to produce their next film — a crime comedy, Welcome to Collinwood — starring William H. Macy, Sam Rockwell and George Clooney.
The brothers later caught the attention of Ron Howard, who had a hand in hiring the duo to direct the pilot for Fox’s Arrested Development, starring Jason Bateman. The brothers won an Emmy for their work on the episode.
However, their meteoric rise was sparked in 2013 when they fought for and won the opportunity to direct Captain America: Winter Soldier, a smash hit that grossed more than $714 million worldwide. Their next project, Captain America: Civil War, pushed the cinematic envelope even further, winning them rave reviews and a $1.1 billion box office draw in 2016.
Now, after three years, the brothers have finished filming one of Hollywood’s most anticipated film series–Avengers: Infinity War, a two-part, decade-in-the-making superhero epic that took more than a year to film and cost more than $300 million to produce.
Avengers: Infinity War premiered this week, and is already winning over audiences and critics alike.
Cent’anni to two of ISDA’s finest members–congratulations, Joe and Anthony!
Take a peek at the trailer here: