Joe and Anthony Russo are famously known for directing Marvel's blockbuster hits Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Their next challenge will be a new Amazon series for Prime Video titled Citadel. It features Eternals star Richard Madden and Quantico star Priyanka Chopra Jonas headlining the global espionage thriller that follows various spies from different countries, who all have to come together for a mission. With the recent successes of The Boys and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Amazon Studios is hoping it has another hit on its hands with Citadel. Amazon Studios CEO Jennifer Salke has offered up new details on the Russo Brothers' next project.
Jennifer Salke was the focus of a Variety profile regarding The Rings of Power. Part of the discussion turned to Citadel, with the Amazon Studios head describing what work has gone into the Avengers: Endgame directors' global series.
"Local language and regional series are very important to us. We're investing hugely in Citadel from the Russo Brothers," Salke told Variety. "It's a big global [spy thriller]. I've seen the first three episodes. The whole idea behind that show is global storytelling with standalone local series that feed into the storylines and fill in details about specific characters. So there's a show set in India featuring a big star and showrunners there who are working under the umbrella of Citadel that will fill in the details of Priyanka Chopra's character. And in Italy, we're doing the same, and there's another in Senegal. We had an international Citadel summit [at Amazon Studios headquarters in Culver City] where we showed some of the footage from Joe and Anthony [Russo]. So we're experimenting with stuff like that."
Citadel reportedly underwent major creative changes and a blossoming budget back at the beginning of September. The live-action spy thriller series is now on track to become the second-most expensive television show ever made, after its initial $160 million budget added a reported $75 due to reshoots, which occurred this past spring and early summer. The reshoots are reportedly due to a creative overall after half of Citadel's initial creative team reportedly exited due to conflicting creative visions for the show.
According to the report, creative differences began to arise after filming on Citadel wrapped in December, with Amazon reportedly having "some reservations about early footage." The Russos, who reportedly had not been extensively involved in production due to their work on Netflix's The Gray Man, reportedly pushed for a second competing cut of the series, with Joe Russo and Appelbaum ultimately leading the charge for their respective cuts. One source cited in the report says that Russo's version would have foregone a massive ski and hang-gliding sequence that opened Appelbaum's cut, before jumping five years into the future to continue the rest of the show's events. Appelbaum was reportedly let go from Citadel days before Christmas, with Kirk, line producer Sarah Bradshaw, and others reportedly following.
"What should have happened was Joe turning to Josh and saying, 'Let's get together and fix this' instead of going solo," one source connected to the project said. "That's not what partners are supposed to do."
The Russos' production company, AGBO, is reportedly now in charge of Citadel, hiring Hunters' David Weil to rewrite the show, and cinematographer Thomas Sigel to direct the reshoots. The show is reportedly now in post-production.