AGBO

ABOUT

ABOUT AGBO

AGBO is an artist-founded, artist-first independent studio that develops and produces film, TV, and interactive properties spanning intellectual property universes.

Founded in 2017 by award-winning and record-breaking directors Anthony and Joe Russo, AGBO is committed to supporting emerging talent and entertaining global audiences, while embracing consumer preferences to engage in entertainment across all platforms.

AGBO is based in the Fashion District of Downtown Los Angeles.

Our mission is to innovate and advance the next generation of storytelling to entertain and inspire worldwide audiences.

ANTHONY & JOE RUSSO | Co-Founders and Executive Chairmen

ANTHONY & JOE RUSSO | Co-Founders and Executive Chairmen

Anthony Russo IMDb  Joe Russo IMDb

Anthony Russo and Joe Russo have been absorbing classic movies since growing up in Cleveland in the 1970s. By high school, the brothers were immersing themselves in every genre, as well as catching every classic they could at their local arthouse theater. They each went on to study English and Film — Anthony at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia, Joe at the University of Iowa and UCLA — and the result is a contribution to worldwide moviegoing that mixes storytelling craft, filmmaking skill, and a deep understanding of how great characters can connect us all.

Through a quartet of movies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Russos raised the bar for blockbuster filmmaking in artistry, scope, and box office returns: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019), which in addition to concluding the “Avengers saga” racked up numerous industry records, including Biggest Single-Day Gross, Highest-Grossing Opening Weekend, and Highest-Grossing Film of All Time.

While working on the Marvel films with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely; director of photography Trent Opalach; composers Henry Jackman and Alan Silvestri; amazing below-the-line and FX crews; and the most extraordinary roster of actors ever assembled, the Russos have always stood by their belief that strong teamwork brings stratospheric results. Rejecting the label of “auteurs,” the Russos subscribe to the “collective theory,” noting that collaboration is crucial. It’s a philosophy that can be felt in their debut feature, Welcome to Collinwood (2002), and underscores their work on TV’s critically-acclaimed Arrested Development (for which they won an Emmy for Outstanding Directing of a Comedy Series), Community, and Happy Endings — for which the Russos directed the pilot episodes as numerous beloved signature episodes.

Similarly, the Russos are committed to helping young storytellers gain a foothold in the film industry. Just as their own careers received an early boost from producers including Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney, the Russos now lend their skills to producing films that spotlight fresh talent and ideas and are eager to help filmmakers they believe deserve membership in the Directors Guild of America. Beyond their sponsorship, the Russos try to personally mentor aspiring directors as they strive to grow as filmmakers, and they regularly host internships to help educate and guide them.

In addition to the film community, the Russo Brothers — whose family back home are longtime members of Cleveland’s Italian Sons and Daughters of America (ISDA) organization, which is defined by a strong belief in “Tradition, History, Family, and Philanthropy” — believe in giving back to the community they grew up in. Toward that end, they founded a forum with The National Italian-American Foundation (NIAF) that encourages and advises filmmakers who are eager to tell stories unique to the Italian-American experience.

In 2017 the Russo Brothers were pleased to announce the formation of their independent film and TV studio, AGBO. Through AGBO, the Russo Brothers have produced 21 Bridges, Mosul, Relic, and Extraction. Their next directorial endeavors Cherry and The Gray Man are AGBO films that will be released in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

In addition to their film and television successes, the Russos are also co-founders — along with almost two-dozen fellow directors and artists — of Bullitt, a filmmakers’ collective and creative studio that is centered on the creation of brand-integrated entertainment and advertising content, and which utilizes state-of-the-art technology to break down barriers between advertisers and audiences.

CHRISTOPHER MARKUS & STEPHEN MCFEELY | Co-Presidents, Story

CHRISTOPHER MARKUS & STEPHEN MCFEELY | Co-Presidents, Story

Christopher Markus IMDb | Stephen McFeely IMDb

With Avengers: Endgame holding the record for the number one highest-grossing film worldwide and Avengers: Infinity War holding the record for the fifth highest-grossing film worldwide of all time, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have written not only the most films (six) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also a number of Marvel’s most acclaimed and successful. Crafting what is essentially a new genre of superhero feature, the duo approaches each as an opportunity to layer in more humanity and complexity, more real world, thought-provoking themes and political self-awareness, while still honoring the Marvel family of characters. Their writing skill and imagination has proven a consistent delight to both critics and audiences.

As partners in AGBO, Markus and McFeely are AGBO’s Co-Presidents of Story, shepherding a growing list of titles.  Screenwriting projects for AGBO include the screenplay for Cambridge Analytica, about the data consultant turned whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, and an adaptation of Simon Stålenhag’s The Electric State. They are developing a TV series based on the Brandstetter detective novels by Joseph Hansen. They are executive producers on The Gray Man, for which they also wrote the final screenplay. Additionally, they are executive producers on Matthew Michael Carnahan’s Mosul, based on a New Yorker article by Luke Mogelson and premiered on Netflix in November 2020; and Exit West, by Jessica Goldberg, based on the Booker Prize shortlisted novel by Mohsin Hamid.  As screenwriters, they will continue to write at least one big commercial project per year, and a passion project every other year for AGBO. There is a natural and long-forged creative relationship between Markus and McFeely and the Russo Brothers, having collaborated on the last two Captain America films and the two final Avengers sequels.

Beyond the Marvel films, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are the screenwriters behind such diverse, genre-spanning movies as the sharp and subversive Pain & Gain, starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie for director Michael Bay, and the first three films in the enormously successful Chronicles of Narnia series for Walden Media. Then as now, through their collaborative process, they create character-rich stories that connect with audiences in a truthful, compelling way.

Markus and McFeely’s initial venture into the Marvel universe was with 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, which stars Chris Evans and chronicles the origin of Steve Rogers, the first superhero of the MCU. In 2013, they wrote the smash hit Thor: The Dark World, starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston and Natalie Portman, for Marvel/Disney. In 2014 they followed with the box office hit, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, earning rave reviews; then in 2016 with the critically-lauded and box office triumph, Captain America: Civil War.  Civil War marked a crisis point in the ongoing MCU saga, a crucible that changed the Marvel heroes forever, setting the stage for Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, the two part saga with screenplays by Markus & McFeely. These epic films, gigantic in scope, yet intimate in nature, represent the climax of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, interweaving the characters and storylines of more than 20 preceding films.  It is an historic undertaking, cementing Markus & McFeely’s position as key architects of this epochal series. They were also co-producers on Endgame.

Now acknowledged as billion-dollar screenwriters, Markus and McFeely began their official writing career together in Hollywood with the acclaimed 2004 teleplay, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, which earned them both an Emmy and a Writers Guild Award.  Their first script, conceived when they began writing together in 1995 while finishing a Masters program in writing, and the one that got them their first agent and the attention of serious producers, was the black comedy You Kill Me.  It was made into a film in 2007 starring Ben Kingsley Tea Leoni, Luke Wilson, Dennis Farina and Bill Pullman, and distributed by IFC Films.

For television, the duo created and executive produced the critically acclaimed ABC drama Agent Carter, which followed Peggy Carter as she juggled her exploits for the Strategic Scientific Reserve while fighting the prejudices of 1940’s America. 

Born in Buffalo and San Francisco, respectively, the two met in a small Northern California fiction writing program.

NICK ANGLEWICZ | COO

NICK ANGLEWICZ | COO

Nick Anglewicz is Chief Operating Officer of AGBO.  Nick joined AGBO in 2018 as their EVP of Finance and Strategy.  Previously, Nick served in business development and finance roles at CBS Films and Endgame Entertainment where he specialized in corporate strategy and film finance, production, acquisition and distribution. Nick has been involved in multiple film fund and corporate capital raises and has contributed to the production and release of over 45 films since 2006.

JAKE AUST | President, Physical Production

JAKE AUST | President, Physical Production

Jake Aust IMDb

Jake Aust is President of Physical Production of AGBO.  Among other film and TV projects for AGBO, Jake produced Mosul for Netflix; Cherry, directed by the Russo Brothers and starring Tom Holland; and “Deadly Class” TV series for Syfy.  Prior to AGBO, Jake was a Producer on seasons 3-5 of the critically acclaimed, Golden Globe Award-winning show “The Office”; seasons 1-6 of the Emmy Award-winning show “Community”; and Merry Friggin’ Christmas. Jake produced the Russo Brothers’ first independent film Pieces, and was an Assistant Location Manager on their feature film Welcome to Collinwood.  He holds a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. 

JASON BERGSMAN | CEO

JASON BERGSMAN | CEO

Jason Bergsman is CEO of AGBO.  Prior to joining AGBO in April 2020, Jason was a Partner and founding member of The Chernin Group (TCG), where he primarily focused on building, acquiring, and investing in digital media companies. At TCG, among other board of directors positions, Jason served on the board of Crunchyroll and serves on the board of MeatEater, an outdoor lifestyle media and e-commerce company he launched. Prior to joining TCG, Jason worked in business development at NBC Universal; corporate strategic planning at The Walt Disney Company; and investment banking at Goldman Sachs. He holds a BA in public policy studies from Duke University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

IRENE FLORES | General Counsel

IRENE FLORES | General Counsel

Irene Flores is General Counsel of AGBO. Irene oversees all aspects of AGBO’s film and television business and legal affairs and strategic planning, including negotiating and advising on asset acquisition, studio deals, production, talent, licensing, distribution, and film finance agreements. Irene also oversees the company’s risk management, corporate compliance, brand integration, corporate alliance, labor, finance, real estate, and litigation matters. Prior to joining AGBO, Irene was a Partner at Eisner LLP in the Entertainment Group and represented a wide range of motion picture and television production companies, individual film and television producers, distribution and sales companies, streaming services, directors, writers, talent, authors, industry executives, and financiers, in all aspects of film, television, and new media productions.

DENNIS HANDS | CFO

DENNIS HANDS | CFO

Dennis Hands is Chief Financial Officer of AGBO.  Prior to joining AGBO, Dennis was SVP of Finance, Strategy and Business Development at Miramax where he oversaw the Finance & Accounting and Strategy & Business Development departments.  There, he was involved in key initiatives including the $300 million refinancing of Miramax’s corporate debt facility in 2018, the sale of the company to beIN Media Group in 2016, the $275 million refinancing of Miramax’s securitization facility in 2014, and production and distribution financings for Miramax’s films and television series.  Previously, Dennis was a VP in Goldman Sachs’ Leveraged Finance Group, where he raised capital for both corporate and private equity clients across a number of different industries.

MIKE LAROCCA | Vice Chairman

MIKE LAROCCA | Vice Chairman

Mike Larocca IMDb

Mike Larocca is a Co-Founder and Vice Chairman of AGBO focused on creative development and production. At AGBO, among other film and TV projects, Mike was a Producer on Netflix mega-hit Extraction starring Chris Hemsworth, AGBO’s first independent drama, Mosul; the horror-thriller Relic; Cherry, directed by the Russo Brothers and starring Tom Holland; and 21 Bridges starring Chadwick Boseman.  Mike is a Producer on Netflix’s upcoming film The Gray Man, starring Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling, the upcoming A24 film Everything Everywhere All At Once, and an Executive Producer on the upcoming global television event series “Citadel” for Amazon Studios. Previously, Mike was SVP of Production at Chernin Entertainment. There, he was an Executive Producer on Spy, the Melissa McCarthy action-comedy; The Drop, starring James Gandolfini and Tom Hardy; and was a Co-Producer on Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Mike was previously a VP at Spyglass Entertainment.

TODD MAKURATH | Vice Chairman

TODD MAKURATH | Vice Chairman

Todd Makurath IMDb

Todd Makurath is a Co-Founder and Vice Chairman of AGBO.  Todd executive produced Netflix mega-hit Extraction starring Chris Hemsworth, AGBO’s first independent drama, Mosul; the horror-thriller Relic; Cherry, directed by the Russo Brothers and starring Tom Holland; and 21 Bridges starring Chadwick Boseman. Todd is an Executive Producer on Netflix’s upcoming film The Gray Man, starring Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling.  Todd completed his undergraduate degree in Finance and Economics at Trinity College Dublin and subsequently a Master of Fine Arts Fellowship at the AFI Conservatory.  Todd is a member of the American Film Institute Corporate Committee, Board Member Emeritus of the Association of Independent Commercial Producers and member of the FilmLA Operations Committee. At AGBO, Todd implemented the American Film Institute (AFI) and AGBO inaugural development grant.  He has worked with the Russo Brothers in launching other ventures including the content production company, Bullitt, the Chinese film production studio, Anthem & Song, and the creative services agency, Superconductor.

ANGELA RUSSO-OTSTOT | President, Creative

ANGELA RUSSO-OTSTOT | President, Creative

Angela Russo-Otstot IMDb

Angela Russo-Otstot is President of Creative of AGBO, managing a team of executives who work collaboratively to develop innovative material and champion new creative voices. She leads creative development of all AGBO film and television content, as well as projects devoted to other forms of media including audio and gaming among others.  At AGBO, Angela co-wrote and executive produced Cherry, directed by the Russo Brothers starring Tom Holland; and executive produced IFC’s Sundance hit Relic. Angela is a Writer and Executive Producer on Amazon’s forthcoming international spy thriller series, “Citadel,” and Executive Producer on the upcoming Netflix movie Exit West.  Prior to her position as President of Creative, she served as SVP of AGBO’s story department under Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Angela began her writing career when she sold a pilot to HBO at the age of 25, and went on to write for various television dramas that include FX’s “The Shield” and ABC’s “V.” Previously, she taught screenwriting and playwriting at Case Western Reserve University and The Cleveland Institute of Art. Angela graduated from the theater program at Syracuse University and then completed a two-year intensive at The William Esper Studio in New York City studying the Meisner Acting Technique.