After months of speculation, it looks like Marvel TV really is coming to an end, at least in the form in which it exists now. Kevin Feige, already the president of Marvel Studios, has been named Chief Creative Officer, Marvel, meaning that all creative executives involved with Marvel’s comics, TV (including animation under Marvel Family Entertainment) and movie divisions will now report to him. Feige himself will continue to report to Walt Disney Co-Chairman and Chief Creative Officer Alan Horn and Co-Chairman Alan Bergman.
In a sense, things have come full circle. In another sense, Feige is getting the last laugh. Marvel Studios was once a subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment, run by chairman Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter. Feige and Perlmutter butted heads constantly over content and finances. Feige threatened to quit due to Perlmutter’s interference, but Disney smoothed things over by separating Marvel Studios and making it a separate entity.
Feige is now Perlmutter’s boss. Actually, he’s Perlmutter’s boss’ boss, as Perlmutter reports to Marvel Entertainment president Dan Buckley, who now reports to Feige.
It has seemed that things were afoot with Marvel TV for some time now. Not many new projects have been announced, and one that had, ‘Ghost Rider’ for Hulu, was scrapped during pre-production. Hulu is moving forward with another new show, ‘Helstrom’, and continuing with its established series ‘Runaways’. ABC’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ will return for its seventh and final season in 2020. There has been no word on a third-season renewal of Freeform’s ‘Cloak & Dagger’. A quartet of adult animated series is still in development for Hulu.
While Marvel’s TV shows have seen varying degrees of success, the movies are the most popular in the world right now, and Marvel Studios is now moving into television with a series of shows based on the movies headed for the new Disney+ streaming service. These shows will directly connect to, feature characters/actors from, and will have budgets on par with the movies. This has made many wonder what will become of Marvel TV, which was floundering without the same level of support.
If anything, this underscores just how important Feige is to Disney as a whole. This year alone, he produced ‘Captain Marvel’, ‘Avengers: Endgame’, and ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’, all of which made over $1 billion. ‘Endgame’ made over $2 billion. Last year, the $1 billion-grossing ‘Black Panther’ became the first comic book movie to earn a Best Picture Academy Award nomination. Earlier this year, after being shut out by Sony on future ‘Spider-Man’ flicks, a settlement was reached for Feige to not only produce a third ‘Spidey’ but for Tom Holland to return in additional Disney Marvel movies. Feige is now developing a ‘Star Wars’ movie for Disney.
Feige will also oversee the creative side of the comic books. It’s unknown to what extent he will be involved, but for sure, expect the comics to more actively develop characters and storylines that will work in live-action adaptations.
Seeing as how this is a new development, expect more details to emerge moving forward. But for now, it’s Feige’s world and we’re just living in it. (And so is Ike Perlmutter.)