If any of you were afraid that Avengers: Endgame would be the Russo brothers’ final directorial outing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), fear not! The Russos are still willing to take another swing at the MCU, provided they’re given the right properties and characters to work with. For the uninitiated, the Russo Brothers are the ones who directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and of course Endgame.
Needless to say, that’s a pretty impressive lineup of films under their belt. They’ve shown themselves to be more than capable directors, doing well at both major ensemble events and smaller, more intimate stories like Winter Soldier. Joe Russo has commented saying that there are a number of Marvel characters that could potentially draw him back into the game. Some of them include the X-Men, the Fantastic Four’s Ben Grimm and the Silver Surfer.
With that mind, we have some great ideas for some amazing comic book storylines we’d like to see the Russo Brothers bring to the big screen. They range from mega-crossover events to more character-driven stories. So pull up a Marvel Wikia and grab your reading glasses because it’s about to get geeky up in this bitch!
1. Fantastic Four Origin Story
Let me be absolutely clear on this matter, there hasn’t been a single good Fantastic Four film. Yes, NO ONE has nailed it thus far. It was either a low-budget TV film, a campfest joke with plenty of nude Invisible Girl fanservice or a raging dumpster fire put out with a green CGI blanket…looking at you Josh Trank. And seeing that the Russos are indeed interested in making a Fantastic Four film, I think Disney should definitely commission a project for the team. At this point, we probably know the team’s origin story right off the top of our heads. Team of scientific explorers go into space, gets bombarded by cosmic radiation. They come back to Earth with new superpowers. They band together to defeat Dr Doom and form the Fantastic Four. I’d love to see how the Russo Brothers bring a fresh, new take to their origin story and a greater emphasis on their role as scientists and explorers.
The last thing we need right now is another superhero slugfest a’la Civil War. This would be a great opportunity for Disney to expand its horizon. The team can go on exciting and fun adventures to places like the Savage Lands where dinosaurs and prehistoric man roam, or search for life on strange new worlds, encountering both terror and wonder alike. Along the way, we can get to know the members of the Fantastic Four and the dynamics of their relationships within the team. The thing about the Fantastic Four is that their adventures aren’t always world-ending cataclysms or grand conspiracies. They have a fun and almost Indiana Jones-esque feeling to them. I think the Russos would definitely excel in crafting exciting stories for the team.
2. The Immortal Hulk
The Hulk is one of the most fascinating characters in Marvel history. A man suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DPD) being able to alter his physical stature and strength based on which personality decides to take over. Sometimes it’s regular old Bruce Banner, other times it’s the simple but deadly Savage Hulk personality or the mobster Joe Fixit but what if I told you that there was another one in him. Something he kept long away for the longest time. Something far more sinister than anything you could ever imagine…something demonic.
A “Devil Hulk” if you will. Written by Al Ewing, Marvel’s recent launch of The Immortal Hulk reveals that there’s more to gamma radiation than just science, it’s linked to supernatural energies that have ties to a being of such infinite evil, he is simply known as The-One-Below-All. It’s the Hulk-like you have never seen before. Merely talking about the character right now gives me the shivers. Seriously, Ewing’s horror rendition of the Hulk is the most spine-chilling, heart-pounding, philosophically poignant story of the character I’ve read to date and it absolutely deserves to be brought to the big screen.
We believe the Russo Brothers are just the right folks for the job. Among the many MCU characters who have gotten a proper sendoff, the Hulk is not one of them which makes me think Marvel Studios still has plans for the character. Since they’re taking chances with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, they should definitely consider adapting The Immortal Hulk. It would be an excellent opportunity for the brothers to try something new while at the same time bringing their signature eye for action in service to a horror film.
Though it isn’t exactly an Infinity War size event, Brian Micheal Bendis’ Siege storyline is considered one of the most ambitious in Marvel history. In the past we’ve already covered the plot of the whole series, so for the sake of brevity, we’ll just be giving you the broad strokes. Ready? Go. Norman Osborn aka the Green Goblin has created his very own Dark Avengers and has taken over S.H.I.E.L.D, reforming the organization into H.A.M.M.E.R with malicious intent.
When a tragic accident involving an Asgardian killing everyone in a football stadium occurs, Osborn convinces the American government that the Norse gods are a threat to America and her people. A threat that needs to be put down. Along with the help of Loki, he plans to invade Asgard using the US military and scores of heroes and villains as his pawns. He’s going to bring the house on the Asgardians and be rid of them, once and for all.
I said it in the past and I’ll say it again. Holy dogshit on a stick, Siege is one badass storyline just waiting to be adapted for the screen. The Russo Brothers have shown themselves capable of dealing with a large number of heroes, giving each of them the screen time they deserve. Siege would definitely be one tall order but I believe, that if given task, the brothers will rise to the occasion. An event of this magnitude and size demands a director (or directors) with a clear vision and an eye for action. While we are aware that the character of Norman Osborn belongs to Sony, we’re sure that the Russos will find a suitable replacement for him. Thunderbolt Ross perhaps? As long as we get to see a fleet of fighter jets do battle with the Valkyries, we all good!
4. House of X/ Power of X
For the longest time, we’ve only ever known the X-Men to be a persecuted people. They’ve seen atrocity after atrocity inflicted upon them. We’ve seen them systematically oppressed in X-Men and X2: United. Mass genocide using Bolivar Trask’s Sentinel program in Days of Future Past. Torture and experimentation in Logan. What if one day, Charles Xavier could no longer bear to see his people suffer and die, all in the name of harmony between man and mutantkind? What if one day, he said no more? As of now with Jonathan Hickman’s new House of X/ Power of X storyline, that time has come and it is nothing short of amazing.
Charles Xavier with the help of Moira MacTaggart and Magneto has essentially created a sovereign mutant nation with advanced biotechnology and a population of some of the most powerful beings on the planet. Rumour has it that they have even found a way to defeat death. They are on a collision course with the rest of the world. It’s time for all of mutantkind to rise up.
With Fox’s previous run, Disney probably doesn’t need another rehashed origin story on how the X-Men were formed. So why not take the franchise into a brave new direction with the Russos at the helm? The brothers have already expressed interest in the characters. All they need is a premise and budget worthy of their ambition. Imagine the Avengers assembling once again to face off against the X-Men, and much like Civil War, the moral lines are blurred. Should mutantkind be afforded this much social and political power? Is Charles Xavier now a mutant supremacist or are his beliefs more nuanced? Ultimately, the story of House of X/ Power of X is a tale of a man with a dream for his people, and who is determined at all cost to bring it to fruition. This is exactly the type of complex subject matter and characters we want to Russos work within the MCU. Please Disney, make it happen.
5. Chaos War
If you thought Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet was one bad egg, then you ain’t seen nothing yet. This guy makes the Mad Titan look like a toddler with a flashy glove. I’m talking about the one and only Amatsu Mikaboshi aka the Chaos King. Once a member of the Japanese Shinto pantheon, this rogue god longed for the days before creation, when there was nothing. So he proceeds to go on a crusade to wipe out every single deity in existence in 2010’s Chaos War!
The Norse gods, the Chinese sages, the Mayan gods and even ones from alien religions, no one is safe from his wrath. Let me put it this way, he annihilated the Devil and sent manifestations of Death like Hela running away. The only thing standing in his way is a team of divine heroes known as the God Squad consisting of Thor, Hercules, Galactus and bunch other deities. The end has come for the universe, and all shall return to the chaos.
In Winter Soldier, we saw the Russos display an impressive ability to balance superhero spectacle with character-driven narratives. Thor, at the current moment, is someone in desperate need of direction and purpose. He’s lost his kingdom, his family and is now leaving his kin behind to pursue a life adventure in space. And as much I enjoy the idea of Thor being a washed-up has-been trying to get his groove back with the Guardians of the Galaxy, I do long to see him return to a role of prominence once again in the MCU. He needs a crisis big enough to shake him out of his shiftlessness and back into the fray as the God of Thunder! We’d love to see the Russo Brothers tackle a Thor storyline with significant stakes and a grand cast of god heroes by his side. We’ve seen space battles, epic alien invasions but we have yet to witness a god-war.