If Uncut Gems taught us anything, it’s that the breakup between brothers can be a true tragedy, potentially resulting in the appearance of Kevin Garnett and death. Hopefully that’s not what happens to Uncut Gems creators Benny and Josh Safdie. In a recent interview with Variety, Benny Safdie, the Mario to his brother’s Luigi, confirmed that he and Josh are parting ways. “It’s a natural progression of what we each want to explore,” he clarified. “I will direct on my own, and I will explore things that I want to explore. I want that freedom right now in my life.”
A new film that was to be a follow-up to Uncut Gems, which would have seen the brothers reunite with Adam Sandler, has been put on pause, according to Variety. The publication reported that while the two were set to co-direct the film, Benny Safdie said “he did not co-write the script and hasn’t been a meaningful part of the creative process, despite reports to the contrary.”
The announcement of the Safdie brothers split comes shortly after news of Benny Safdie’s upcoming solo directing effort. Safdie’s film, titled The Smashing Machine, is a collaboration with actor Dwayne Johnson. In the biopic film, Johnson will play MMA fighter Mark Kerr, portraying his career from his rise to success to struggles with addiction.
Benny Safdie’s split from Josh also comes after a year of the creative breaking out into his own roles multiple times. Benny Safdie explored his acting career further, playing a scientist in the hit Christopher Nolan film Oppenheimer, as well as a role in the TV series The Curse, which he also co-created with Nathan Fielder. Safdie also acted in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, proving his range.
Now that the Safdie brothers’ dual directing effort is “on pause” for a seemingly indefinite amount of time, it will be interesting to see where Josh Safdie will make his next move. Either way, between The Smashing Machine and his foray into acting, at least Benny Safdie will certainly keep busy after the split from his directorial partnership.