I understand that Marvel divisions all had meetings a week ago, on Tuesday afternoon, regarding the change in who Kevin Feige reports to at Marvel/Disney, from CEO Isaac Perlmutter, to Disney’s Alan Horn.
It was intended for the news to hit the wires that day. But it didn’t. Instead it took Hollywood Reporter six days to get it out there. And they were still way ahead of anyone.
Marvel folk seem baffled by how long it took for this to break. Because, it seems, there’s so much anger and ire over this, and other changes. But it seems that too many people are afraid of breaking rank.
The phrase “it wouldn’t happen if Nikki Finke was still doing this” was repeated a bit. Though Nikki is now contractually obliged not to such stories any more, and is very busy with her fictitious Hollywood Dementia site.
But now that the dam has burst, expect all sorts of stories about big changes at Marvel to start flooding out. In fact, this article is just a tiny part of what’s coming.
In the rush to report on the importance of Isaac Perlmutter to what Marvel and Marvel Studios are now, it is worth considering a number of other people on the journey.
There was David Maisel who both put the Marvel Studios financing deal together, and then the Disney buyout deal that followed.
There was Alan Fine who also joined Toy Biz before the buyout and the bankruptcy, rising to CEO of Marvel and leading Marvel’s Creative Committee. Between David, Alan and Ike, they basically created what we know as Marvel Studios.
There’s Avi Arad, who founded Toy Biz with Perlmutter, and with whom Ike wrested the bankrupt company from the hands of both Carl Icahn and Ron Perelman. His later role developing Marvel movies with other studios cannot be undervalued.
Then there are people like Joe Quesada, Dan Buckley, Brian Bendis, on the Creative Committee who joined up the various aspects of Marvel together into some kind of sellable, exploitable whole and who prioritised the Marvel Studios properties at the publisher. Then there’s Jeph Loeb who added the TV shows to the mesh of a Marvel Cinematic Universe.
And there’s the members of the Marvel brain trust, the comic book creators who helped bring Marvel’s stories through the system to the big screen, such as Brian Bendis, Mark Millar and Ed Brubaker. They formed much of what the Marvel movies actually are on the screen.
None of this is to dilute what Perlmutter did, and the massive risks he took that paid for the company. But it takes a village to raise a cinematic universe…
…and all of this happened before Kevin Feige came along.