Indeed, as he watched his fellow viewers cheer the sight of three generations of wallcrawlers banding together Spider-Man: No Way Home— including Tom Holland’s youngest Peter Parker, whom the Russos cast to help — Joe was reminded of an often-overlooked egalitarian quality of the Marvel method and experience.
Joe says, “I think the one thing that Marvel doesn’t get enough credit for is what people do after such a divisive time during the pandemic and after all this fabricated conflict that’s been playing out in America over the past four years , still connected? But when you go to a theater, race, color, creed, whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, it doesn’t matter.”
Joe later adds in a follow-up interview, “The power of filmmaking lies in its ability to bring people together as a community in a public space, regardless of their background. And Marvel does it better than anyone, and I don’t think they get enough credit for it. And if that’s the real power of filmmaking then they’re certainly the most powerful filmmaking entity on the planet because you walk into one of these theaters and boy is there a lot of joy and happiness and emotion and excitement in one of their films. And you just don’t see that in any other film. Also, historically, I’m not sure you’ve seen this level of excitement in any film other than when Marvel is at the top of their game.”
Joe and Anthony both credit their time at Marvel as an eye-opening experience that taught them what audiences really like and value about visual storytelling, as opposed to what certain cultural gatekeepers might expect.
“You connect with audiences in a way that allows you to understand the global impact of big theatrical releases and you get a better insight into the perspective of audiences that are outside of the US and outside of that kind of Hollywood circle located,” says Joe. “My brother and I found that incredibly insightful and really pivotal for our future careers.”
He adds: “To really understand inclusion, you have to consider that going to the cinema is in some ways an elitist experience, isn’t it? It is expensive. And outside of the US, a lot of people can’t afford it. A majority of the audience cannot afford it. There are certain countries you travel to where going to the cinema is a once in a lifetime experience. So you’re trying to deliver to those viewers something that deserves that time, that money that they’re going to spend. It also allows you to understand that we’re uninterested in building barriers into your storytelling, whether faux-intellectual barriers, to create niche appeal, as that excludes a wider audience, and I would argue , a more interesting audience. ”