Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has been promoted… and no, not at Lucasfilm. Despite rumors that Feige was possibly in line to take over for Kathleen Kennedy as head of Lucasfilm and all things Star Wars, it was announced today that Feige is being named Chief Creative Officer, Marvel. As Marvel Studios president, Feige oversees the creation, production, and release of all Marvel Cinematic Universe films (and upcoming Disney+ shows), but now Feige will be responsible for the overall creation of Marvel’s storytelling across all mediums. That includes publishing, film, TV, and animation.
As a result of the structural shift, Marvel TV and animation generator Marvel Family Entertainment will move under the Marvel Studios banner, which means the previously somewhat autonomous output from Marvel TV—which includes Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the now-defunct Netflix shows, and stuff like Marvel’s Runaways—will be overseen by Feige’s team. Key creatives in the realms of film, TV, and publishing will now report to Feige, who himself continues to report directly to Disney chief Alan Horn and co-chairman Alan Bergman.
This move makes a lot of sense. Feige spearheaded the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at Marvel Studios, but had no significant oversight of Marvel Television, which was headed by Jeph Loeb. The TV schedule and separate creative pipeline made it difficult to fully integrate shows like S.H.I.E.L.D. and Daredevil into the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline, and at a certain point Feige and the Marvel Studios folks just started ignoring those shows altogether.
With the advent of Disney+, Feige and Marvel Studios set about creating their own shows from the ground up, and limited series runs like Loki, WandaVision, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are due to serve as major pieces of MCU storytelling. They’re so integral to the MCU that they’re being included under Marvel’s “Phase Four” and “Phase Five” banners, with WandaVision serving as something of a prequel to the film sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
We knew Marvel TV had nothing to do with these Disney+ shows, and now with television coming under the Marvel Studios banner, it appears as though Loeb’s reign with Marvel Television is coming to an end. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is airing its final season on ABC in the near future, and we recently heard that Hulu was scuttling plans for a Ghost Rider spinoff. This all feels like Feige winding things down so he can soft-reboot Marvel TV under the Marvel Studios banner, ensuring that the storytelling all flows through a single creative pipeline. This is good news for fans, as it means these kinds of shows will have more significant connective tissue to the overall MCU.
Deadline has details on the reporting structure, and while they don’t mention Loeb, I would not be shocked to learn he’s no longer with Marvel TV. Dan Buckley will continue as President of Marvel Entertainment, which still calls the meddlesome Ike Perlmutter its CEO (Feige moved out of Ike’s Sauron-like eyeline around the time that Civil War was being made and now reports directly to Horn). Buckley will reportedly have a dual reporting structure going forward—he’ll continue to oversee publishing creative/editorial and report to Feige, while he’ll also continue to oversee publishing operations, sales, creative services, games, licensing, and events, for which he’ll report to Perlmutter. Joe Quesada is also expected to remain the creative lead for Marvel Entertainment, reporting to Buckley, with all creative execs in publishing reporting to Buckley.
This is a significant move for Marvel and it underlines the importance of Feige to the company as a whole. Clearly they now want his magic touch on all Marvel creative, and that’s finally happening on a significant scale. As for Perlumutter, well he’ll continue on in his role as CEO, but his creative influence appears to be shrinking every day. Praise be.