The President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, is set to be honored by the Producers Guild of America with the David O. Selznick award for his work developing the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Feige has been producing movies based on the Marvel comics since 1998 and has had a hand in the X-Men franchise, Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy and Ang Lee's 2003 Hulk effort, among many others. It wasn't until 2007 however, that Feige was appointed head of Marvel Studios and embarked on one of the most ambitious cinematic projects ever attempted: a shared universe of Marvel characters that would culminate in an Avengers team-up movie and continue with distinct phases of several releases per year. The franchise that Feige has overseen since the beginning, the MCU, has been wildly successful both critically and commercially and other studios have attempted to replicate the shared universe format, largely without success.
Named after the Academy Award-winning producer behind Gone With The Wind, the PGA's David O. Selznick award recognizes an individual's outstanding contribution to film and previous winners have included such illustrious names as Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood and Kathleen Kennedy. Last year's winner was Charles Roven, a producer most recently associated with Warner Bros.' DC movies, including Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy and the current DC Extended Universe.
It's now time for the award to make its way over to Marvel territory, as the PGA have announced (via Variety) that the 2019 recipient will be Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige, who will officially receive his honor at the ceremony on January 19, 2019. Elaborating on their decision, the Guild said in a statement:
“As President of Marvel Studios since 2007 and producer of each of its 20 genre-spanning films to date, Feige is widely credited with creating the unprecedented and ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. His forward-thinking approach to production, diverse casting and globally resonant storylines make him one of the most exciting and relevant filmmakers of our time."
Responding to the news, Feige stated:
“To join so many of my heroes and mentors in receiving the David O. Selznick Award is one of the most meaningful experiences of my career, and I’m truly thankful to my colleagues in the Producers Guild of America for this recognition. I want to also thank my Marvel Studios family, who have been with me every step of the way and without whom I would never have had this amazing journey.”
Even the biggest detractors of the MCU would find it hard to argue that Feige isn't a deserving recipient of this award. To create a franchise that is so prolific yet so consistently successful is almost unheard of and it seems as if the series is only heading upwards, with some of its most recent efforts - namely Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War - proving to be some of its most record-breaking and lucrative. With characters such as the X-Men and the Fantastic Four yet to be introduced into the franchise, the potential for the future is almost frightening and it's not an overstatement to say that without Keige at the helm, it's unlikely Marvel Studios would currently be in this position.
Fans of superhero movies often find that the genre is largely ignored by the major award ceremonies, the Oscars in particular, and the recent introduction of an Academy Award for Best Popular Film only seemed to confirm that the Academy doesn't consider superhero films to be serious cinematic fare, despite widespread calls for Black Panther to be recognized. As such, it's pleasing to see that at least some of those in the business of handing out shiny trophies are happy to include comic book movies and the Marvel Cinematic Universe among their elite.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019