Category Archives: Joe Russo

Infinity War’s Joe Russo Has Solid Advice About “Shared Universe” Franchises

Joe Russo, the co-director of the smash hit Avengers: Infinity War has advice for studios interested in created a “shared universe” of films. He said, in essence, “Don’t do it.” That might be strange assessment coming from someone who recently scored such a massive hit. The shared Marvel Cinematic Universe has done nothing but make money. Why would the director make an assessment that A shared universe is a bad idea? Simply put, creating a shared universe isn’t easy And can set the stage for losing a lot of money.

Actually, Russo went a little further in his assessment. He pointed out that Marvel Studios didn’t start out with a massive shared universe strategy from day one. The shared universe developed after the success of a series of films. Also, audiences basically demanded a shared universe. They wanted complex storytelling in new films. They didn’t want to see any rehash. So, a shared universe grew naturally as part of a progression of new films and sequels.

Universal Studios and DC Entertainment both ignored these truths and decided to craft a massive shared universe without ever testing the waters to see if audiences wanted one. No real appetite exists for Universal’s reboot of its classic horror properties. Universal tried twice to launch a pilot for the horror universe and stumbled.

And then there’s the DC Extended Universe. Almost every film produced under the DCEU banner has been a disappointment. This shared universe was also launched without actually determining whether fans wanted one.

Russo understands what fans want from their entertainment experience. At the very least, the fans want to be treated with respect. Rushing to produce a dozen films and throwing them out into theaters doesn’t exactly meet the definition of respect. Audiences become treated as nothing more than commodities. Studios should not be surprised that audience responses to such treatment is cold indifference.

Joe Russo Reveals Venom Isn’t Part of the MCU

Joe Russo has been speaking a lot to the media about superhero films and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Recently, Russo — the director of Avengers: Infinity War — discussed the subject of the difficulties associated with crafting a “cinematic universe.” He’s also getting specific about who or what actually exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

A highly-anticipated superhero movie’s trailer seems to be heralding the arrival of a new hit. Venom takes the one-time Spider-Man villain and positions him as a vigilante anti-hero. The film also veers slightly into the horror genre considering the gruesome nature of the title character.

According to Joe Russo, no matter what Venom turns out to be genre-wise, the character isn’t part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Even though Spider-Man, a character shared with Sony Studios, exists in the MCU, Sony’s Venom does not.

Russo made the statement that Venom isn’t part of the MCU at a Q&A at a high school in Iowa City. Russo noted that Venom remains a Sony property, which precludes the character from being part of the MCU. Actually, one thing could bring Venom into the MCU: a new licensing agreement.

Spider-Man and various “Spider-verse” characters were licensed to Sony. Marvel Studios do not own the rights to them. The reason Spider-Man appears in the MCU is thanks to a revised licensing agreement Sony agreed to. Sony simply agreed to let “their” Spider-Man star in MCU movies. Sony had good reason to do this. The two Amazing Spider-Man films were disappointments. Sony felt Marvel Studios could reboot the character.

No shared licensing agreement exists with any other acquired properties. So, Venom the character won’t be showing up in the MCU at this time. At present, Joe Russo is correct. Things can change in the future based on how big of a hit Venom the movie turns out to be.