Benny Safdie has opened up about taking on projects without his brother and longtime directorial partner, Josh Safdie. The two directors, whose joint career has coined their identity as “the Safdie brothers” in the world of film, have split, as confirmed by Benny himself.
In a new profile published by Variety, Benny claims that there was no bad blood between he and his older brother, as they each pursue their own separate ventures.
“It’s a natural progression of what we each want to explore,” he explained. “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.”
Yet, when asked if he would ever direct with Josh again, Benny told the outlet, “I don’t know.”
Notable Safdie brother collaborations include Heaven Knows What (2014), Good Time (2017), and Uncut Gems (2019). With respect to the latter, a sequel — once again starring Adam Sandler — was on the docket for the two brothers, but Benny noted that he has not been very involved, and that the film is currently “on pause.”
His revelation arrives in the wake of various successful projects of Benny’s, including a role in Oppenheimer, and co-writing, producing, and starring in The Curse. The news of his solo directorial debut The Smashing Machine, produced by A24 and set to star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, also broke just last month.
Johnson spoke highly of Benny to Variety, sharing that he “wants to create, and continues to push the envelope when it comes to stories that are raw and real, characters that are authentic and at times uncomfortable and arresting.”
“I’m at a point in my career where I want to push myself in ways that I’ve not pushed myself in the past,” Johnson added, with respect to his new project. “I’m at a point in my career where I want to make films that matter, that explore a humanity and explore struggle [and] pain.”