While most would think that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is the top man who reports to Disney CEO Bob Iger, that really isn’t the case. He actually reports to Marvel Entertainment CEO Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, a reclusive executive who is known for micromanaging the superhero entertainment giant. However, Feige has expressed frustration at the working relationship. So after venting said frustration to Iger and Disney live-action head Alan Horn, the company did some corporate restructuring, which gives Perlmutter less control over Marvel Studios and more to Feige.
More on the story below.
The shake-up was put into effect last week. From THR, who was the first to report on the news:
“Marvel Studios is taking the next logical step in its integration with The Walt Disney Studios, joining Pixar and Lucasfilm in centralizing many of its film-related functions in Burbank, with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and co-president Louis D’Esposito continuing to lead the Marvel Studios team reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn,” a Disney spokesperson tells THR in a statement.
This integration is devastating to Perlmutter in a couple of ways. Marvel Studios films are a major cash flow, with the studio having 12 consecutive films debuting at number one at the box office. Domestically, the 12 films have grossed over $7 billion dollars all together. While losing Marvel Studios is a major blow, Perlmutter will “maintain oversight of Marvel’s TV group, publishing, animation and other New York-based operations.”
Perlmutter has been known to be frugal when it comes to a budget, from the salaries of the cast and crew all the way down to how many sodas journalists are allowed to have at press junkets. And now with the corporate restructuring, it just shows that Feige has proven himself to be a powerful leader over at Disney. With this move, Feige’s power is similar to that of Kathleen Kennedy of Lucasfilm, or animation leaders John Lasseter and Ed Catmull.
A source close to the company said:
“Everybody knows Ike is difficult. This has been a long time coming. Kevin has grown his entire career under Ike and now it just makes sense.”
So what does this mean for Marvel’s future. That is still unknown. Exactly how much of Perlmutter’s influence rubbed off on Feige remains to be seen. The move does allow Feige to spend as much as he wants, given that Marvel Studios films are top grossing films, but much of that is due to Perlmutter’s frugal spending habits. Then there is Feige’s contract. It’s unclear how many more years are left on his contract, but the shake-up may influence him to stick around Marvel for a couple more years given that he now has more free reign. Finally, the move gives Feige more creative freedom, which may have an effect on Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Avengers: Infinity War, or even the films that will be going into production in the very near future like Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy 2.