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The Russo Brothers Talk About The Future of Filmmaking and an AI Tom Cruise May


Joe Russo and Anthony Russo, also known as the Russo Brothers, have made their mark on cinema and TV as writers, directors and producers on projects like the hit series Community, and Marvel movies Captain America: The Winter Soldier & Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War & Endgame. Since working with Marvel and hitting the height of their careers, they’ve teamed with streamers Apple and Netflix for the films Cherry and The Gray Man, respectively, with their upcoming Amazon series Citadel in post-production, and Netflix film, The Electric State currently filming. These are just the projects they’re directing. They have many more films and series they’re producing in the works.

The pair are excited to work with their friends and colleagues in the industry under their AGBO production banner, and they’re open to seeing how storytelling will change in the future. They were vocal about their beliefs that moviegoing was dying out during their press tour for The Gray Man, saying that they see movie theaters as antiquated and increasingly irrelevant. When rebuked for their comments, they expressed that they wished it weren’t the case, but they just didn’t believe that theatres had the attendance to support arthouse films like they did in the past.

In a recent interview with Variety, Joe Russo explained that in working with Disney, they’ve talked at length about the evolution of film, saying:

“I’ve had conversations with the folks at Disney recently — they have the same philosophy, that we’re headed towards the digital future that allows them to access their audiences anywhere at any time with any of their assets. Whether we like it or not, the advent of AI, the advent of three-dimensional projectors that don’t require glasses, the advent of deepfakes — everything that’s coming is going to transition the face of media as we know it. And we’re interested in turning the car towards that.”

He went on to talk about one possible future, which sounds crazy, but pretty cool!

“Filmmaking is going to transform into some other medium,” Joe says, growing more animated the longer we dwell on this topic. “I don’t know what that media is going to be. My guess is that when you can sit in your house, turn to one of the actors that is standing in front of you and say, ‘Hey, Tom Cruise, hold on a second. Tell me about how you filmed this scene,’ and the AI-fueled Tom Cruise can turn to you and start explaining, it’s over at that point, right? That’s when technology will dominate whatever new form of storytelling is coming.”

Whether or not a Tom Cruise bot is on the horizon, the point for the Russos is less about predicting the future than preparing for it. Joe explained:

“We could be developing something for two years, and then the market shifts or some new medium shows up that’s better suited for this story. Let’s spend another six months converting it to that model. Let’s take this feature and turn it into an…



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