A fairly significant development arose earlier this week when news broke that as part of a restructuring, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige would now be reporting directly to Disney exec Alan Horn instead of eccentric Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter. This was momentous because for years, rumors have swirled of battles between Feige and Perlmutter over the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Perlmutter’s frugality and unpredictable personality leading to potentially disastrous results in the Marvel film world.
Then, a day after the news that Feige was finally free from Perlmutter, word broke that Marvel Studios’ Creative Committee was being disbanded. The Creative Committee, based in New York with Perlmutter, was where ideas and scripts for upcoming Marvel Studios projects were bandied about, considered, and notated. Word has it that it was the Creative Committee’s notes that drove Edgar Wright off Ant-Man and they are also reportedly responsible for Joss Whedon’s contentious experience on Avengers: Age of Ultron. This committee, headed by Perlmutter’s right hand man Alan Fine and including publisher Dan Buckley, COO Joe Quesada, and writer Brian Michael Bendis, was now seemingly no more, no doubt as a direct result of Feige breaking free from Perlmutter’s influence.
And now, a few days later, we know the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as Feige’s move is concerned. Per THR, as the budget on Captain America: Civil War—a film that has a massive ensemble cast and is basically another Avengers movie—unsurprisingly ballooned, Perlmutter and the Creative Committee grew unhappy, wanting Feige to “scale it down.” Feige, having had enough of this BS after spearheading the rise of one of the most popular and successful movie brands in history, subsequently “contemplated leaving Marvel” and expressed his dissatisfaction to Disney CEO Bob Iger, who then approved the restructuring that moves Feige away from Perlmutter’s purview, free to now run Marvel Studios under Alan Horn.
THR says the Creative Committee isn’t being entirely disbanded but its influence over the Marvel movies will be “nominal at best,” while it will maintain oversight on Marvel TV, which is still in Perlmutter’s territory and is currently branching out into the world of Netflix. Buckley and Quesada will remain on the committee to coordinate the Marvel television, comic book, and merchandizing worlds, but Marvel Studios, it seems, is off limits.
So what does all of this mean? Well for one thing, I wouldn’t be holding my breath for any major crossovers between the Marvel film and TV world in the near future. With Feige now seemingly enjoying much more autonomy, it’ll be mighty interesting to see how the Marvel Cinematic Universe evolves post-Civil War. Will we see more diversity? Bigger stories? Weirder stories? As long as the stories themselves are compellingly told I don’t much care, but based on what we’ve learned so far with regards to the kind of influence Perlmutter and the Creative Committee had on the MCU, I’m inclined to believe this is a very positive series of developments.
As a refresher, here’s what the Marvel Studios slate looks like at the moment:
- Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016
- Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017
- Untitled Spider-Man Reboot – July 28, 2017
- Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017
- Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 – May 4, 2018
- Black Panther – July 6, 2018
- Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 – May 3, 2019
- Inhumans – July 12, 2019