Benny Safdie Confirms The Safdie Brothers Have Split Up, And Explains His Plan Moving Forward

The Coens, the Wachowskis, the Lumières, the Russos, the Duplass brothers—the filmmaking world is full of talented sibling duos, but one familial partnership looks to be coming to an end. Benjamin and Joshua Safdie make up the Safdie Brothers, the NYC-based directing duo behind two modern classics: the tense 2017 crime drama Good Timestarring Robert Pattinson, and the Adam Sandler-led 2019 film Uncut Gems

But lately we’ve been seeing more of Benny solo, as he’s transitioned into acting in recent years with supporting turns in films like Licorice Pizza, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. and Oppenheimer (he’s the guy behind that SPF meme, remember?), as well as co-creating the squirm-inducing dark comedy series The Cursefor Showtime. Well, it looks like we’ll have more solo projects from the Safdies in the future, as Benny told Variety

It’s a natural progression of what we each want to explore. 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.

Though Benny and Josh worked together in 2023 as executive producers on the HBO docuseries Love Has Won: The Cult of Mother God and Telemarketers, the siblings will apparently be splitting up for future projects. But despite rumors of a falling out between the brothers, Benny insists the split is amicable. 

According to the Variety write-up, Benny has backed out of the brothers’ much-anticipated follow-up to Uncut Gems, which would reunite the siblings with their Oscar-snubbed leading man Adam Sandler. The project, which also was to star rap sensation Megan Thee Stallion, was allegedly set in the world of sports memorabilia collectors, and would have been co-directed by both Safdie brothers, but Benny told the outlet that the movie is now “on pause.” 

Whether Josh Safdie continues with the upcoming Adam Sandler project solo remains to be seen. Back in July 2023, Benny updated GQ on the project and his current standing with his older brother and collaborator: 

It just felt like, OK, 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. It seems like a natural progression for how things have happened.

Benny has a lot on his own plate as it is: the filmmaker will make his solo directing debut with the upcoming A24 movie The Smashing Machine, which will see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson portray MMA fighter Mark Kerr. Safdie also wrote the biopic’s script, which will follow the legendary heavyweight during the peak of his career in “the no-holds-barred era of the UFC.” The story will delve as much into Kerr’s personal life (his romances, his struggles with addiction, etc) as his professional career. 

When asked point-blank by Variety whether he will be directing with Josh again in the future, Benny simply responded:

I don’t know.

Well, looks like family dinners at the Safdie household have just gotten a bit more awkward. In the meantime, stay tuned to the 2024 movies schedule to learn about releases coming shortly. And of course, CinemaBlend will keep you apprised on more updates surrounding both brothers’ film careers, solo and otherwise. 


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