Kevin Feige's new role at Marvel may stop him taking over Star Wars. The blockbuster success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is largely due to the genius of its visionary president and producer, Kevin Feige. Feige's role at Disney appears to be expanding right now, and he's confirmed to be working with Lucasfilm on a mystery Star Wars movie, too. So far, little is known of this project, bar the fact Feige has a "major actor" in mind for a specific role.
That news led to intense speculation that Feige was being groomed to replace current Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. It makes sense; both their contracts are believed to be due to end over the next couple of years. Feige has been a Star Wars fan since the beginning, through what he calls the "Dark Times" when no new films were being made, and he's even well-versed in the old Expanded Universe. Feige would be a perfect fit for Star Wars, and his vision for the franchise would dovetail perfectly with Disney's.
The future is always in motion, though, and this week brought news that seems to make this a lot less likely. Feige has officially been appointed Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment, meaning he has oversight on creative, editorial, and narrative decisions across all mediums - ranging from television to the comics. This change is quite a significant one, and undoubtedly a blow for Marvel Entertainment's reclusive and controversial chairman, Ike Perlmutter, who is being increasingly sidelined. Furthermore, with Feige taking on a much more involved role in Marvel as a whole, it means that he can't and won't take over the Star Wars franchise moving forward. It's simply impossible for someone to manage both brands simultaneously.
It's important to note that businesses don't implement restructures like this on a whim; they're typically in the works for quite some time before they're made public. Given that's the case, it's reasonable to assume that Feige knew about his expanded remit when he signed up to produce a Star Wars film. While many had speculated Feige was destined to take over Star Wars, that idea had never been openly discussed. It was largely assumed to be the case, perhaps reflecting the fact that Star Wars has become rather controversial under Kennedy, and that the fanbase is hoping for some sort of change in direction. The reality may well simply be that Feige was offered the chance to produce a Star Wars movie, and couldn't resist the opportunity.
Whatever happens, it looks as though Kevin Feige is going to be very busy indeed going forward. Marvel Studios' upcoming Phase 4 slate is as big as Phase 3, but releasing twice as fast, with a range of Disney+ TV shows as well. The new Spider-Man deal between Marvel and Sony means Feige will also be acting as producer on Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 and he'll be taking on additional responsibilities with Marvel Entertainment. Moreover, he'll also be stepping out of his comfort zone to work with Lucasfilm. Feige really is one of Disney's hottest talents - but it no longer seems likely he'll be taking charge of Lucasfilm.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019