Though many Marvel fans may not be familiar with the name Ike Perlmutter, he has had a very integral part at the House of Ideas for a while. After running Toy Biz with Avi Arad, he became the CEO of Marvel Entertainment in 2005. Someone out there is ready to correct me to say that Kevin Feige is the head honcho, but he’s only the President of Marvel Studios. Perlmutter, who isn’t one for the public eye, is actually Feige’s boss. Well, that is until recently.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Feige convinced Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger and Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn to restructure the chain of command earlier this week so that Marvel Studios no longer falls under the Marvel Entertainment banner and Perlmutter’s purview. Here’s the official statement from the Mouse House:
“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.”
Sources say that “several years of frustration” between Feige and Perlmutter was the cause of these changes. The two executives are polar opposites of each other when it comes to their approaches to business. While Perlmutter is extremely private and rarely allows himself to be photographed, Feige is constantly promoting recent Marvel projects like ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, ‘Ant-Man’, ‘Captain America: Civil War’, and ‘Doctor Strange’. But the strains go beyond their personalities. Apparently, the cause of Marvel’s infamous reputation for being cheap when it came to director and actor salaries stems from the CEO, who has been described as a penny-pincher. However, now that Feige answers to Horn, the spending in the movie department can flow a little more freely. This may also lead to Feige having more creative control of the stories coming out of Marvel Studios since he has more money at his disposal to make things happen like keeping an actor around past their contract or bringing in a promising filmmaker that was previously out of their reach.
But that’s the sort of thing that fans don’t really see. What else does this shake up mean for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? The biggest thing might be a larger divide between the film and television branches of the MCU. While Feige has control over the movies featuring Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Perlmutter still has the final say over Jeph Loeb’s Marvel Television division, which includes the ABC shows ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ and ‘Agent Carter’, as well as the Netflix shows ‘Daredevil’, ‘Jessica Jones’, ‘Luke Cage’, ‘Iron Fist’, and ‘The Defenders’. Things may change as ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ gets closer, but it’s possible that we won’t see too much if any crossover between Marvel’s TV and movie characters for the time being.
Although with the beginning of Phase Three pretty set in stone, changes aren’t likely to come until around 2017. But as we wait for a more concrete idea of what this could mean for sure, let’s hear your thoughts and theories. What do you expect will happen with this new corporate structure at Marvel Studios? Are you disappointed that there might not be as much interconnectivity between Marvel’s movies and shows? And do you think that Kevin Feige just went over Ike Perlmutter’s head in order to get more power? Sound off in the comments.