Joe and Anthony Russo are best known for helming Marvel films such as Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, but the brothers didn't get their start by making blockbuster features. The directing duo made their first movie back in the 90s, a fact they're celebrating today with a little throwback. The Russo Brothers took to Instagram earlier to show a bit of their very first movie, Pieces, which also features Joe Russo in a starring role.
"PIECES was our first movie. After filming in Cleveland we brought it to @slamogram in 1997. We arrived in Park City with 50 Italian relatives in tow, a mountain of crippling credit card debt, and three canisters of 16mm film. PIECES tells the story of three con men running a wig shop as a front for their crimes… Joe also starred as one of the leads," the Russos explained.
They continued, "The movie is populated with our family and friends from Cleveland, both as cast and crew, all of whom helped us scrape our way through the process (spot our sister and Cherry co-screenwriter Angela as one of the schoolgirls in the video). After it's Premiere at @slamogram, the phone didn't ring. This wasn't a movie that would catch the eye of studio executives. It wasn't commercial at all. It was in fact, highly experimental. It was the kind of movie only another filmmaker would love. A maverick filmmaker like Steven Soderbergh." You can check out their video below:
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The Russos have been sharing a lot of throwbacks lately while promoting their upcoming film Cherry. The film is being adapted from the book of the same name by Nico Walker and follows "an Army medic suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder" who "becomes a serial bank robber after an addiction to drugs puts him in debt." Spider-Man's Tom Holland is starring in the film as Walker.
"I think it's an Oscar-worthy performance," Joe Russo said of Holland in a previous interview. "I think [Tom Holland] is absolutely amazing in it. He gives a gut-wrenching performance. What he does to himself emotionally and physically is unbelievable. We haven't seen an actor in a role like this in a while. The movie spans a decade, complemented by an epic performance. And one that I certainly hope will be in the Oscar conversation."
"Holland really shredded himself for the part," Russo told Deadline's Behind The Lens. "He lost 30 pounds, he gained it back. We're on an independent movie schedule here, he didn't have a lot of time to be doing these things. He worked very closely with recovering addicts, he worked very closely with PTSD experts and soldiers who had suffered from it, how it affected their lives."
Cherry hits theaters on February 26th and will be available to watch on Apple TV+ on March 12th.