The start of Fortnite’s latest season began with a three-minute-long cinematic that set up season 6’s story, along with the game’s first narrative-driven single-player experience. It was like a short, animated action movie — which makes sense, since Joe and Anthony Russo, the pair best known for their work on The Avengers movies, helped co-direct it.
In a statement to The Verge, the Russo brothers said, “It’s been fantastic working with the team at Epic. Fortnite holds a unique place in pop culture, and we think Donald Mustard is a visionary storyteller, who continues to take us all into unexplored territory.”
The crossover isn’t too surprising, given the collaboration between Marvel and Epic in the past. Fortnite even featured an entire Marvel-themed season that started last summer. The partnership dates back even further, though, to when Thanos appeared in Fortnite in 2018, as part of an Avengers: Infinity War crossover.
In fact, according to Fortnite creative director Donald Mustard, it was Thanos’ appearance and the Russos that inspired the copious brand crossovers that are now so central to Fortnite.
“I got so lucky that early on I met Joe and Anthony Russo,” Mustard tells The Verge. “It wasn’t like we just became friends, it was like I found a lost family member or something. We instantly had a shared vision. It was when they were finishing up Infinity War, and I took them through the whole story of Fortnite. ‘Here’s my idea of what we could do.’”
“And they were the first people to really help me, and help us, get through a lot of the barriers of how you bring different worlds together in a way that feels authentic. It started there, with Thanos, but it’s led to where we are now. In fact, that opening cinematic yesterday, that was directed by me and Joe and Anthony Russo.”
Stay tuned on more from our interview with Mustard soon.