The Russo Brothers To Direct Post-Iraq War Crime Drama 'Cherry' After 'Avengers 4'

When Joe and Anthony Russo first hooked up with Marvel Studios few had ever heard of them. They had directed two features, the little-seen George Clooney comedy Welcome to Collinwood and You, Me, and Dupree with Owen Wilson. It was a gamble setting them on Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but it was a risk that paid off in spades. They're now gearing up for their fourth Marvel film, Avengers 4, which will also be their final one before fully focusing on their fledging studio, AGBO. And as part of that, the Russos have decided on the next film they'll direct.

Deadline reports the Russos have bid a whopping $1M to win the rights to Cherry, the upcoming novel by first-time author Nico Walker. The story follows the author's real-life journey as an Army medic who returned from the Iraq War with severe undiagnosed PTSD, got hooked on opioid and turned to robbing banks as a way to cope. Walker was eventually caught and convicted, and isn't due to be released until 2020.

The Russos plan to make this the next film they will direct once Avengers 4 is completed. The Cherry script will be penned by Jessica Goldberg, a writer who is working on multple projects for AGBO so the Russos clearly have a lot of faith in her. They outbid many of the major studios to get this one, including Warner Bros. who had James Franco and Stronger screenwriter John Pollono onboard.  But the Russos feel a personal connection to Walker's story, having grown up near where Walker did in Cleveland, and having known others who have succumbed to opioid addiction.

This is obviously a total gear shift for the Russos, but how much you want to bet they rifle through that Marvel rolodex when it comes time to start casting?