One of the coolest aspects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is how it brings so many unique and talented filmmakers into the fold. Two of those filmmakers include the Russo Brothers, directors of last year’s box office smash Avengers: Endgame.
The MCU isn’t the only series the two were involved in, however. They also directed several TV shows as well. They even found a way to bring a hilarious reference to one of the more prominent shows they worked on into the MCU. But how exactly did they do that?
The Russo Brothers history with Arrested Development
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Before they were involved in the biggest movie franchise of all time, the Russos had an unlikely beginning: onset of the critically acclaimed comedy Arrested Development. The brothers served as directors for multiple episodes of the series.
Arrested Development was the story of Michael Bluth and the rest of the inept, bumbling Bluth family. After their patriarch, George Sr., is sent to prison, it’s up to Michael to keep the family’s real estate company together.
The show featured an ensemble of talented performers including Jeffrey Tambor, Portia de Rossi, Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Jessica Walter and Will Arnett.
The comedy was short-lived — only lasting three seasons — but later grew a cult following on DVD that led to two additional seasons on Netflix nearly ten years after its cancellation.
The Russo brothers and the MCU
After working on comedies like Arrested Development and Community, the Russos transitioned to an entirely different genre: superhero film franchise. The Russos first directed the second and third installments in the Captain America series: Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War.
They did such a great job with these two films that Marvel entrusted them with their crown jewel: the third and fourth Avengers films, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
This two-part saga brought an era of MCU films to a close. To show just how important these films were, consider that they represented a culmination of over 10 years of MCU movies that started with 2008’s Iron Man.
How the Russo Brothers brought ‘Arrested Development’ into the MCU
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The Russos transition from Arrested Development to the MCU may have seemed odd at first, but one viewing of either property proves that they’re sensibilities are well-suited for both. The Russos understood comedy as well as superheroes.
While it wouldn’t seem like those two worlds would cross paths very easily, the Russos did find a way to work the Arrested Development universe into the MCU. According to Screen Rant, an artifact of the Bluths makes it into Captain America: Civil War.
The film’s most famous sequence is the fight on the airport tarmac between multiple superheroes from the MCU. The fight sees epic confrontations such as Spider-Man against Winter Soldier and Falcon, Iron Man and War Machine against Ant-Man, and Captain America against Black Panther.
In one part of the sequence, the famous stair car driven by the Bluths is visible in the background. It happens so fast and is so inconspicuous that if you blink you’ll miss it. It was the Russo Brothers’ nod to another one of their other beloved universes.
It’s also not the only reference to Arrested Development in the MCU. According to the Hollywood Reporter, one scene in The Guardians of the Galaxy features Arrested Development character Tobias Funke in the background wearing his trademark blue body paint.
The Russos influence on the MCU goes beyond their great storytelling and wonderful character arcs. They also brought a few reminders of one of their old jobs into play as well.