Yesterday we shared news of the executive shake-up at the top of Marvel Entertainment's film division. Long-time mastermind of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Kevin Feige, had managed to have Disney remove the biggest obstacle to his plans: Marvel Entertainment CEO Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter.
Going forward, Feige and his tight knit Marvel Studios creative committee will report directly to Disney studio boss Alan Horn, putting Feige in a position of power similar to Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy. However, that little creative committee isn't really a thing anymore either.
While Perlmutter is now going to be focusing on Marvel's New York HQ divisions (TV, animation and publishing) the brain trust at the top of Marvel Studios - which has helped it operate creatively as a small studio despite the magnitude of their film projects - is disassembling too. Sort of.
HH shared rumors of such happenings on Periscope which BMD has since confirmed via their sources. And it goes like this: The following names have for years been responsible for collaborating on the details of each Marvel Studios movie, planning out the long-form story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Kevin Feige, and offering feedback and notes for directors and writers.
- Alan Fine - President of Marvel Entertainment
- Brian Michael Bendis - Marvel Comics writer elite
- Dan Buckley - Marvel Comics publisher
- Joe Quesada - Marvel Chief Creative Officer
But just like Ike Perlmutter, this group in its current form is sort of just in the way, perhaps even obsolete. But now they reportedly won't be, which might be a good thing based on BMD's claims that this group has notoriously been slow with their notes which just doesn't work for fast-moving, fast-evolving Marvel Studios. The system certainly didn't work for original Ant-Man co-writer and director Edgar Wright who parted ways with Marvel at the very last minute due to this very committee and their actions.
So, not only is super producer/Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige now the real top dog, he also seemingly has complete creative freedom over what happens next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the business side of it with less cooks in the kitchen so to speak. The core committee behind him will now pretty much only consist of fellow film people, co-president/executive producer Louis D'Esposito and fellow producer Victoria Alonso.
Feige was instrumental in bringing Marvel into a partnership with Sony Pictures to merge Spider-Man back into the MCU, and he was responsible for convincing Robert Downey Jr. to stick around for more Marvel movies. What happens deeper into Phase 3 (which begins next year with Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange) and beyond will be entirely his. That could mean more exciting risks being taken (like Feige's passion project Doctor Strange) and less issues of paying for talent. Or it could mean something else, perhaps even the films paying less attention to the source material. We'll just have to wait and see.
What Marvel is now, at the end of 2015 with Disney having another juggernaut production house in their family in Lucasfilm, and pushing towards Marvel launching three movies per year on top of multiple cable and Netflix programs, is a far cry from what it was five years ago before the first Avengers began shooting. So a new system is needed for the current landscape with the right leader making the decisions. All of that just fell into place this week which we can only hope translates into the upcoming films.
Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man– July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Black Panther– July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019.