Anthony Russo talks filming in Georgia and how 'Captain America: Civil War' prepared him for 'Avengers: Infinity War'

Anthony Russo talks filming in Georgia and how 'Captain America: Civil War' prepared him for 'Avengers: Infinity War'

Captain America: Civil War had its premiere at the historic Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA on Sunday and director Anthony Russo walked the red carpet alongside cast members from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 including Chris Pratt, Michael Rooker, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, and Sean Gunn.

The Atlanta-filmed movie is Marvel and Disney’s second to be filmed at the relatively new Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County after last year’s Ant-Man, and the studio shows no signs of stopping. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is currently shooting at the complex, with both Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War set to film next. We spoke with Russo on the red carpet, where he discussed filming in Atlanta and gave us an update on Infinity War and how Civil War prepared him for the monumental task of handling so many characters.

Shakefire (SF): What is it that attracts you to Atlanta, aside from the obvious tax rebates?
Anthony Russo (AR): Well the tax rebate is critical. It can’t be understated how important that is to the whole equation because without that almost nothing else works because there’s so much money involved in those tax rebates. But after that, look there has been some great film production facilities build here. We shot at Pinewood, which is south of town. It is an excellent A+ facility. It’s as good or better than anywhere my brother and I have ever shot in the world. Georgia has done an amazing thing in terms of developing an infrastructure to support filmmaking, which I think speaks to the longevity of the industry here. It’s great.

SF: How was it coming into Civil War off of The Winter Soldier and adding so many more characters to the story?
AR: It was amazing. Look, the thing about Joe and I, we always say we’re big fans of what Marvel has done. Not only that, but the comics throughout our whole lives. So be able to tell a story using all those characters was like a dream come true for us. It does have challenges when you’re dealing with a large ensemble, but all of our work, from our very first movie Welcome to Collinwood to our TV shows like Arrested Development and Community and Happy Endings, we love working with ensembles. I think we’re very well suited in that form of storytelling.

SF: How has doing Civil War prepared you for Infinity War?
AR: It very much was sort of a test run in a way for Infinity War. But this story, my brother and I have always thought about a continuity of narrative from The Winter Soldier thru Civil War right into Infinity War. So Civil War very much sets the table for where we’re going to pick up the story in Infinity War. So in that sense this movie gives us a leg up in terms of where we’re going in that movie, but it certainly will be challenging with the size of the cast.

SF: Has there been any update to the number of characters? I know the number 67 was thrown around previously in reports. Have you narrowed that down further?
AR: We are in the process of doing that. That was the number of characters that we were considering, sort to speak. But as far as what ends up in the film, we’re still in the process of sorting that out. We literally just got the very first script draft from the writers [Christopher] Markus and [Stephen] McFeely two days ago. That’s the stage we’re at.


Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, May 6, 2016.

Matt Rodriguez
Interview by Matt Rodriguez
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