Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo next reunite with Spider-Man star Tom Holland on the “deeply personal” Cherry, an R-rated drama and examination of the opioid crisis inspired by Nico Walker’s debut novel of the same name.
The Russos won the rights to the novel in August and developed Cherry under their storyteller-friendly AGBO Films, the production company behind projects with Marvel Studios collaborators Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely — who penned all four Russo-directed MCU entries — and Avengers stars Chadwick Boseman (21 Bridges) and Chris Hemsworth (Dhaka).
“It’s based on a best-selling book, it’s a story set in Cleveland, Ohio, where we grew up — it’s a story very near and dear to us,” Joe Russo said at San Diego Comic-Con.
“A lot of the locations in the book are locations that we grew up in and around. The author of the book actually worked at the same restaurant I worked at a few years after I worked there. This is a story about drug addiction and the opioid crisis, told in a very fascinating and frank way. It’s touched us both, it’s touched our families, the crisis, and so this is a very deeply personal movie for us. The gentleman who wrote the book was someone who went through the same growth arc that we did in the same part of the city that we grew up in, and had a very different experience, and we want to tell his story.”
Penned by first-time novelist Nico Walker, Cherry tells the story of an Army medic returned from Iraq who turns to robbing banks as his drug addiction worsens.
“It’s so exciting to get a chance to work with them because they changed my life,” Holland said of his Captain America: Civil War and two-time Avengers directors. Cherry will be “a really interesting role for me to play,” Holland added, “and I can’t wait to dive into it with them.”
“He’s an amazing human being, he’s very kind, a lovely person to be around, and an incredibly talented actor,” Joe said. “He’s just incredibly gifted and someone we want to work with on almost all of our projects moving forward.”
Joe noted they’re on track for an October shooting start and Anthony confirmed Cherry will be R-rated.
“It’s a very complicated movie, it’s a very mature movie,” Anthony said.
“It doesn’t have the sort of surface level sort of entertainment value that the Marvel movies have, of course, but there are really important stories that need to be told. Joe and I are in a position now where we can get those movies made, and we want to use that sort of capital that we’ve built up to tell important stories.”
Cherry has yet to announce a release date.