When I was told I was gonna cover A CONVERSATION WITH THE RUSSO BROTHERS panel in Hall H I was ecstatic! Two of my favorite directors in the world, up close and personal, in the nerd mecca, it would be pure awesome!
And y’all, it was.
The first thing we were treated to was a highlight reel of some of the Russo Bros best work, ending, of course, with a scene from AVENGERS: ENDGAME. You know the one; Captain America is all but defeated, standing alone on the battlefield and over his com we hear a static voice “Cap can you hear me? Cap, it’s Sam, can you hear me? On your left” (this is the exact point in the panel that I started to cry). Then 100 glowing portals open up, and our favorite heroes make what is arguably the greatest entrances in superhero history. At this point, tears are streaming down my cheeks, and my makeup is pretty much ruined, and lights turn on, and out comes Joe and Anthony Russo, the men who had a huge hand in bringing so many of my favorite heroes to the big screen. I was shook y’all.
And the first question they ask this packed room of comic nerds, “after the panel, who’s coming with us to storm Area 51?” I mean, I hadn’t really given it much thought, but yeah let’s go! Will Iron Man be there?? (for the record he won’t, they killed him, a crime I will never truly forgive them for). They then thanked the fans for supporting them, their work, the Marvel movie, and it was at that point that I totally forget that I was there as press, and launched into full fan mode. I didn’t take notes, I hardly took video, and I’ll be honest, I don’t remember a lot of the panel. What I remember is that I was about 20 rows away from two people that I greatly admire, watching them talk about their work, past, and future, and I was in heaven.
A few things I do remember:
There is a possibility the Russo Bros will come back to Marvel, and it might be for Secret Wars (fingers crossed).
When asked who needed multiple takes to get the shot, they answered Mark Ruffalo (because he gots lost in his performance) and Anthony Mackie (because he gets lost out of his performance. He makes a lot of jokes on set).
Who can always get it in one shot: Scarlett Johansson.
Hardest FX shot to get in INFINITY WAR? The dusting. It took a lot to figure out what that should look like.
Hardest FX shot in ENDGAME? The portals. It took a while to get everything, the effects, the score, etc to line up perfectly. Smart Hulk was also pretty challenging. How to combine Banner and Hulk without it looking cheesy or simple.
And then we were told there were a few fan questions, but instead of directing our attention to the microphone on the floor, we all looked up at the big screen, and there they were, our favorite actors, each with a fan question about the characters they played. It. Was. AWESOME!
Mark Ruffalo asked if Hulk was not the strongest AND smartest Avenger, but the Russo’s and the crowd decided that title goes to Shuri (sorry Bruce).
Chris Evans asked which film was the most stressful and which one was the most relaxed to make. They said INFINITY WAR was the most stressful Avengers movie to make, but WINTER SOLDIER was pretty chill. He also wanted to know the first thing Steve did after he returned the stones and got his dance with Peggy. The answer: either he went to the bathroom, or they tried to make a baby.
Chris Hemsworth wanted to know who would be the better leader of the “previously known Guardians of the Galaxy, or as they are now known, the Asguardians of the Galaxy” …him or “the other guy. Quince, Quail, something like that”. He answered his own question of course. Spoiler, it’s him.
Paul Rudd, who asked one of my favorite questions, “if you had to rank the best “America’s ass” which Chris would it be? The crowd answered this one with Chris Evans, pretty much hands down.
Robert Downey Jr. wrapped up the questions and asked, “biggest difference between the first at the press conference and last “I am Iron Man” to “Thanos in ENDGAME”. The Russo Brothers said the arch Tony goes through is huge, and at the end, he’s a dad and really realizes that his job in the universe is to truly serve others.
After the “fan” questions we were treated to some upcoming projects that the Russos are doing, including CHERRY with Tom Holland, MAGIC THE GATHERING (a Netflix animated series), THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR with Michael B. Jordan, THE ELECTRIC STATE, GRIMJACK, and BATTLE OF THE PLANETS.
I’m excited to see a few of these, but my heart will always be in their work with Marvel, so now I’m gonna go watch ENDGAME again (which is out on digital), and cry some more.