Benny Safdie Confirms Creative Split of Safdie Brothers, Calls It "a Natural Progression"

"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."

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Jan 4, 2024

Josh and Benny Safdie — the brother duo known for their collaborative direction of films like Uncut Gems and Good Time, and production of series including The Curse and Telemarketers — have split creatively, the latter has shared in a new interview.

The revelation came from Benny Safdie in a new Variety profile, who shared that he was unsure if Josh and himself would ever collaboratively direct film projects going forward, despite their split being reportedly amicable.

The news quashes rumblings that the brothers had a falling out following a year in which Benny held acting roles in Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer, Kelly Fremon Craig's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret and the aforementioned Curse, which he co-created with Nathan Fielder.

"It's a natural progression of what we each want to explore," Benny told Variety. "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."

The Variety profile reiterates that Benny Safdie has bowed out of a forthcoming film with Adam Sandler set to follow their acclaimed collaboration Uncut Gems. Set in the world of sports memorabilia, the project was also due to star Megan Thee Stallion. Benny shared that the movie is now "on pause," with Variety reporting that the younger Safdie brother "did not co-write the script and hasn't been a meaningful part of the creative process."

After news broke last year that Benny would not be involved in co-directing that project, he shared with GQ that Elara Pictures, the Safdie Brothers' production company, is "still there" to see it through.

"We work on a lot of documentaries and there's just a constant flow of ideas," Benny shared. "It just felt like, okay, there's things that I want to explore that don't necessarily align right now with Josh. So it's a divide and conquer mentality. He wants to tell this story, he can go and do that. I'm going to go and do a couple of other things."

The Safdie Brothers are both executive producers of The Curse, and also served as exec producers on Andy Kaufman documentary Thank You Very Much from director Alex Braverman last year.

In December, Benny Safdie announced his solo filmmaking debut with The Smashing Machine, an A24 feature starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as mixed martial arts champion Mark Kerr.

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