The shakeups at Marvel are getting even more severe. It’s almost like The Hulk was on a rampage, leaving destruction in his wake, but instead of the famous emerald behemoth, the heavyweight in question appears to be Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. Just yesterday, it was announced that Feige and Marvel Studios were no longer reporting to Marvel Entertainment and its CEO Ike Perlmutter. Instead, the studio would begin reporting directly to Disney. Now Feige is breaking further shackles by dismantling Marvel’s Creative Committee.
This Committee included Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, publisher Dan Buckley, Marvel Entertainment president Alan Fine and influential writer Brian Michael Bendis, who represented the comic books’ interest in the films and whose job it was to offer notes and weigh-in on Marvel Studios projects, in an effort to serve the publisher and keep the films in line with what was happening in print.
While it may be a valuable resource to have the folks behind the source material to offer ideas, apparently the Committee was more of a problem than a solution, offering “notes that are pedestrian, motivated by ‘Save the Cat’ story logic and sometimes a drag on creativity.” (‘Save the Cat’ refers to to a book on screenwriting by Blake Snyder. In other words, their script ideas were like something out of a textbook.)
The biggest revelation is that it was this Committee’s notes that drove Edgar Wright off of ‘Ant-Man’ a movie he’d spent over half a decade developing. The resulting film, directed by Peyton Reed, was Marvel’s second least successful offering, getting only mixed reviews.
It was also indicated that this Committee’s interference at times threatened to derail films to the point that they may have actually missed their release dates.
Though not mentioned, this could also explain why Ava Duvernay walked away from ‘Black Panther’ as she admitted that she and the studio didn’t see eye-to-eye on what the film should be.
Feige, as Marvel Studios president, will now be calling all the shots with the assistance of producers Louis D’Esposito and Victoria Alonso.
Is this a wise move? There’s no way to tell at this point, because everything from Marvel Studios thus far has been a result of the previous set up. What is known is that James Gunn was essentially given carte blanche with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ because the characters were so obscure and the movie wasn’t as closely tied to the continuity of the ‘Avengers’ movies which were the studio’s main focus. With little interference, Gunn turned in one of the most beloved of Marvel’s movies. ‘Ant-Man’, made under a much more watchful eye, disappointed in more ways than one.
Presumably, Feige and company are seeking less of this meddling in their recent moves. If it results in movies that are more ‘GotG’ than ‘Ant-Man’, maybe this is for the best. We won’t really see a big change for some time, since most of the upcoming Marvel movies are already in the works having started under the old regime. At the earliest, ‘Doctor Strange’ could be the first movie made without the Creative Committee’s input.
And on a side note, look forward to more female action figures. Turns out that it was Perlmutter, a former toy executive, who governed by the old “girl toys don’t sell” adage and therefore suppressed production of Black Widow toys and so forth.
What are your thoughts on these shakeups? Are they a good sign of more creative freedom and less studio committee thinking? Or is Feige making a huge mistake distancing himself from the people who made the comics that his movies are based on in the first place? Will the comics now distance themselves from the movies, rather than vice versa? Comment below!
Source: Comic Book Movie