Amazon Studios Head Says Russo Brothers’ Franchise Will Connect Through Spies – And Their Double Lives

TCA 2019: “Each thing can stand on its own, but they’ll feed into each other,” Jen Salke tells TheWrap

Amazon Russo Brothers

As the directors of both “Avengers: Infinity War” and the upcoming “Avengers: Endgame,” Joe and Anthony Russo definitely aren’t strangers to weaving together multiple storylines within a gigantic fictional universe.

And based on their next large-scale project — a “groundbreaking global event multi-series” for Amazon’s Prime Video — it sounds like that’s exactly what they intend to keep doing.

TheWrap spoke with Amazon Studios head Jen Salke during the Television Critics Association press tour Wednesday, hours after she revealed to reporters that the first TV series in the Russo Brothers’ upcoming franchise will be an “action-packed spy series, with a compelling emotional center.”

Because it’s a little confusing how this “international tentpole” series, will be intertwined with “multiple, connected local language series” — the first two coming from India and Italy — we had to ask Salke to break this all down. Basically, the spies are at the center of the main series, and their double lives will be the focus of the other shows.

Read our interview with Salke below for a much more detailed explanation.

TheWrap: So the first series in the Russo Brothers’ franchise is a spy series, but there are more to come and they are all connected — how?

Salke: So I’ll give you an example, I’m making this up. So say there’s an Indian show you watch, a show you love in India, and it’s about an Indian doctor and she’s married to a guy and they have three children, and you realize that she’s being followed, and then you find out she’s actually living a double life. So you start following that thread of that story, but that character actually exists in the big show. So you’re taking people — without giving away too much of the concept — you’re taking people’s lives, their real lives that they’re living every day, and then this other life that they have as these spies. And so you’re going to be seeing that they live sort of in two spaces. But each thing can stand on its own, but they’ll feed into each other.

How many series are planned overall?

Right now there’s the big series and there’s India and Italy. And there will be two more at least. We’re just identifying the territories.

And production begins this year?

Yes. And it’s like the whole organization of the show will live under the umbrella of the show, but the local teams, there will be like an executive producer/director, maybe, who gets hired, whose job will be to interface with those local teams and making sure they’re following at least the bible of the storyline and all. So there will be a master storyboard on how that’s all coming together.

When can we expect a title?

You know what, I’m going to challenge them with that this week. It was only yesterday that they called me and said, “We are ready, we are directing this.” So we’re gonna come up with a name and we’ll get it to you quickly.

Would it be a name for the franchise overall and then subtitles for the other shows?

There will be some connection to the other shows, yes.