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Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Anthony and Joe Russo interview

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Interview by Rob Carnevale

ANTHONY and Joe Russo talk about some of the challenges of directing Captain America: The Winter Soldier and pay tribute to the vision of Marvel producer Kevin Feige for allowing each film to have its own identity without pandering to future instalments.

They also discuss their views on the proposed box office clash between Captain America 3 (which they will also direct) and Superman versus Batman. They were speaking at a UK press conference…

Q. How do you keep Captain America as a good man in this darker, modern world and avoid being corny?
Anthony Russo: Well, Chris [Evans] is able to balance the character in a way that Joe and I have always been amazed by. He strikes a balance between somebody who is self confident and focused and he puts the emphasis on that rather than on righteousness, which is important. For us, we always like a more complicated version of the character. So, we tried to put him in a very complex situation and play to the complexities. I mean, he starts the movie in a very vulnerable place. This is the first movie where we catch up to him in the modern day and see what it means to him on a character level to have missed 70 years. He’s woken up and found that nobody from his old life is around anymore. It’s a very isolated place to be. It’s emotionally vulnerable. So, his relationships to the other characters in the movie are even more important because he has nobody. So, that’s how we developed the character.

Q. How does the broadness of the current Marvel universe on film affect the approach to make each individual movie? Do you have to be aware of what’s coming up?
Joe Russo: It is a giant undertaking. It’s a very ambitious undertaking and probably as ambitious as movies have ever gotten, just in terms of the scale and the amount of films we’re making. But the real secret sauce to that is Kevin Feige at Marvel who is this auteur and producer and quite brilliant at what he does in terms of keeping that inter-connectedness but also focusing on the movie at hand. He’s very good about not putting any constraints on the film that he’s working on. He has the belief that if you’re thinking about the future you’re not going to make the best movie that you can right now. So, he really tries to make the best film that he can and then figure out what the next move is going to be. It’s a very organic process.

Q. Captain America is going to go up against Superman versus Batman next time around. Have you any plans to up the ante and will you be introducing any new super characters?
Anthony Russo: Yeah, we’re working on the next one right now. I think it was Kevin Feige who said it best – ‘when two cars are speeding at each other, one of them has to veer out of the way at some point’.

Anthony Mackie cuts in: Hell yeah! Put it out there baby! Tell ‘em! Tell ‘em!

Anthony Russo: Listen, Marvel announced that date originally. If you go back and look at it historically, I think Marvel and Sony have been trading off on that May date for a long time and I think when Warner Bros decided to move that film to the May date, I can see why Kevin said what he did.

Anthony Mackie: Boom! Deal with that!

Anthony Russo: So, we’re not going to do anything to up the ante other than hopefully making a great movie that everybody is excited to see.

Q. Who is your hero in real-life?
Joe Russo: I can’t decide whether it’s Superman or Batman. Aren’t they going to be in a movie together?

Read our review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Read our interview with Scarlett Johansson

Read our interview with Samuel L Jackson