When directing duo Anthony and Joe Russo — popularly known as the Russo brothers — first came on board to direct Captain America: The Winter Soldier, few might have predicted that they'd end up becoming the driving force of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even more so than Joss Whedon was back in his heyday.
But the brothers, alongside their screenwriting collaborators Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, knocked it out the park again earlier this year with Civil War, and are returning to helm the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War centerpiece.
Following their first feature film, Welcome to Collinwood, the Russos' break into television came ostensibly when they signed on to direct the pilot episode of Arrested Development, for which they won an Emmy. But many sitcom fans will know them best for their work on Dan Harmon's Community, for which they served as executive producers and directors across the first three seasons, occasionally directing episodes during Season 5.
Cracking A Few Eggs To Make A Superhero Movie
Like all good comic book adaptation creators, the Russos have demonstrated a flair for the Easter Egg. Both The Winter Soldier and Civil War were full of intertextual goodies pertaining both to the MCU and the wider Marvel Universe itself. But there's also been more than a few nods to the Russo brothers' earlier work, especially Community and their darling show Arrested Development.
- Captain America: Civil War: The Ultimate Comic Book Easter Egg Breakdown
- 6 Seasons And A Movie: 5 Reasons Community Deserves That Fabled Movie
- Wait, Did Iron Man Already Show Us How To Heal Bucky In Captain America: Civil War?
In a new interview with Cinema Blend, the Russos were asked if they had a specific favorite when it comes to the Easter Eggs peppered throughout Captain America: Civil War. It might not be that much of a surprise to learn that their favorite was a callback to some of their earlier work.
Joe Russo: "We love being intertextual, so obviously being able to put the Bluth stair car in the movie was a delight for us. That's the sort of stuff we like to do, and in terms of layering the storytelling from an intertextual standpoint, because I think pop culture in general is very intertextual. You look at 'Stranger Things.' I think people appreciate the definition and depth that you can bring to something by combining elements from other works. And I think it's part of the fun of popular storytelling today. So, that was probably our favorite Easter Egg."
In case you missed it, the Easter Egg in question came in the form of the infamous Bluth family stair car from Arrested Development. The stair car for the company jet became a primary mode of transportation for the Bluths after they had to sell off most of their assets to cover the family debt. It appeared in many episodes of the series, and was involved in everything from the possible murder of Lucille 2 (Liza Minnelli) to unwittingly aiding in a prison break.
The stair car popped up again during the Leipzig Airport Battle of Captain America: Civil War, appearing multiple times in the background of the Giant-Man (Paul Rudd) scene.
It features during the sequence where Ant-Man/Giant-Man and Captain America (Chris Evans) chuck the miniaturized truck at War Machine (Don Cheadle). The plan failed though, clearly because they should've tried to throw the stair car instead.
'Look Out! Drive By Deaning!'
But this wasn't the only cute callback Easter Egg in Captain America: Civil War. The ensemble superhero blockbuster also featured an appearance from actor Jim Rash, who portrayed Greendale Community College's Dean Craig Pelton on Community — a character known for his questionable fashion choices, Dean-tastic puns and inappropriate crush on Jeff Winger (Joel McHale).
Rash appeared briefly for a cameo role in Civil War as an unnamed M.I.T. Liaison who runs into Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) following his speech at M.I.T. near the beginning of the movie. But this wasn't the only time a Community actor has cameoed in the MCU.
Danny Pudi In The Winter Soldier
The Russo brothers' first outing, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, also featured a cameo from Danny Pudi — who portrayed the lovable fourth-wall breaking Abed Nadir in all six seasons of Community.
Credited only as Com Tech #1, Pudi showed up during the scene where Captain America, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) break into the Triskelion to foil the HYDRA plot. In case you missed it, you can check it out below (with a Community twist at the end of the video).
Yeah, that's pretty much how we would react in that situation too.
Donald Glover, a.k.a. Miles Morales
Despite the fact that this one pertains to a movie that isn't directly linked to the Russo brothers, it's also worth noting that Community's Donald Glover is set to appear in next year's Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Glover appeared as ensemble cast regular Troy Barnes across Seasons 1 – 4 of Community, before leaving the show due to personal issues. He also provided the voice of alternate universe Spider-Man Miles Morales in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. He's set to appear in the upcoming Homecoming, albeit not as Spider-Man, despite the long-running campaign to get him the role.
Turning back around now, there was a reference to Glover's Spidey-status during the opening scene of the Community Season 2 premiere — "Anthropology 101" — where he appears sporting a pair of Spider-Man pajamas. And this episode was directed by... Joe Russo, of course. Well played Russos, well played.
Given that we have the same directing and writing team tackling Avengers: Infinity War and the Untitled Avengers Project follow up, we should expect some more Easter Eggs of this like in the upcoming Avengers movies.
But what will we see? Joe McHale as Pepper Potts's new boyfriend? Alison Brie as a space alien? Jason Bateman as an innocent bystander crushed by a stair car? At this rate we're going to end up going full Scooby-Doo, and once the Avengers have defeated Thanos they'll pull off that big purple mask to reveal that it's really been John Oliver all along.
Which is your favorite Easter Egg in Captain America: Civil War? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!
(Source: Cinema Blend)