Even at their best (Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man 3, etc.), the films that have been made under the Marvel Studios banner have been deeply, and occasionally publicly, compromised by money and idiots. Though there’s plenty of blame to spread around, a great deal of the idiocy that’s plagued Marvel films has come from Marvel’s creative committee, a think tank made up of Marvel employees that gave notes on all Marvel properties moving from the scripting stage to production. These notes are largely believed to be the sort that have caused most Marvel scripts to feel so formulaic, bland, and often atonal in the finished product. So, it was a tremendous relief today to read at Birth Movies Death that the creative committee, headed by Alan Fine, Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis, Dan Buckley, and Joe Quesada, has seemingly been dissolved, freeing up Kevin Feige and all future Marvel Studios endeavors to possibly take a more original track in scriptwriting and production.
The people who make up the committee are all talented businessmen and creative types but, mind you, these were the people that made Edgar Wright want to abandon Ant-Man, and therefore will wear a red A on their chests until the end of time. The news of this dissolution, along with the recent news that Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter will no longer hold total creative sway over the Marvel Studios brand, is certainly exciting news for fans of the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe. As BMD points out, Perlmutter was behind the nixing of any and all Black Widow toys, which may make sense from a financial standpoint but, in terms of being a human being, does not reflect well on the CEO.
Still, this puts quite a lot of added pressure on Feige and all future Marvel Studios productions to show the difference made with this newfound, long-awaited freedom. I’m not expecting Captain America: Civil War to show these changes, nor any other productions that are already underway, but those still in the scripting stages will have little to no excuse for being as amiable and mediocre as many of the Marvel Studios films have been. If a director in the same caliber range as Ava DuVernay or Wright washes their hands of Marvel in the future, the reason will simply be that the creative stifling goes beyond Perlmutter and the committee, and that Feige and his team are just as untrusting of directors and writers as them. This is one of those moments for skeptical optimism, a willingness to see Marvel Studios grow but paired with a knowledge that, when it comes to these things, safety and money often outweigh invention and ambition.