'Avengers' Directors Tackling 'Grimjack' and 'Battle of the Planets'
Avengers: Endgame directors the Russo Bros. looked to the future even as they took a victory lap for their latest Marvel Studios project at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday. The duo announced that they will produce an adaptation of the indie comic Grimjack, and are also adapting the classic cartoon series Battle of the Planets.
They will not direct Grimjack, but are keeping the door open for potentially helming a live-action Battle of the Planets movie, they said. They will develop the projects through their company AGBO.
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Both projects touched the brothers in their youths. “I would race home from school just to watch this at 4 p.m.,” said Anthony Russo.
Battle of the Planets was the American version of the anime Gatchaman that aired in North America in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The show told the adventures of a team of young adults known as G-Force — Mark, Jason, Princess, Keyop and Tiny — who fought the forces of Spectra and the evil Zoltar.
Grimjack was a comic published by First Comics and created by John Ostrander and Tim Truman. It told the adventures of a sword-for-hire who operated a city where magic and technology co-exist.
Earlier in the panel focusing on the Russos, members of the Avengers cast sent in video questions videos for the directors to answer, as though they were fans.
Captain America actor Chris Evans touched on the end of Endgame, which saw Steve Rogers go back in time to share a dance with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). The actor asked what the first thing Steve did after that dance.
"Perhaps he and Peggy tried to make a baby?" suggested Anthony Russo, while Joe Russo noted that perhaps he had more adventures.
"Depending on the alternate realities, he could rescue Bucky out of Hydra. He could route Hydra out of SHIELD," said Joe Russo. "He could go find himself in the ice where he could figure out a rotation where the two Steves could take turns, so he could spend more time at home with Peggy?"
Next up, the Russo Bros. have Tom Holland's Cherry, which is set to begin shooting in October and tackles the opioid crisis. The brothers confirmed the film will be R-rated.
They are also producing Chadwick Boseman's 21 Bridges, which debuted a new trailer during the panel, hosted by Collider editor-in-chief Steven Weintraub.
Endgame is the No. 2 movie of all time globally, with its $2.78 billion tally trailing James Cameron's Avatar by just $5 million. The brothers spoke of their affection for Cameron's films and called it an honor to be close to the record.
The Avengers panel is in some ways a goodbye to Marvel's past. It comes a day before Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is expected to unveil Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with dates expected to be set for projects such as Black Widow, Black Panther 2, Doctor Strange 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Just an hour earlier, Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely had a panel of their own, where they revealed moments they wrestled with — but ultimately cut — from their scripts. Among them: Endgame could have featured the 2014 version of Thanos coming to Earth and killing the Avengers before traveling to 2023. He would have carried Captain America's severed head to the future, presenting it to Steve Rogers.
There were also more touching moments, with Markus noting that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and his father Howard Stark (John Slattery) reuniting was particularly meaningful to write for personal reasons.
"Over the course of these, my own father died and after that, I had a child. The one thing I'd like to ask him is how the hell do you deal with this?'" Markus told Jeff Goldsmith, the publisher of Backstory Magazine and host of The Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith podcast.
There was also an idea that Steve Rogers would be the one to confront the Red Skull in Endgame.
"He has to collaborate with Red Skull and he'd become this sort of Gollum," said Markus.
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