Movies & TV / News

Kevin Feige Nearly Quit Marvel Studios Before Reorganization

September 3, 2015 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

Reports hit late last weekend that Marvel Studios was being brought directly under the Disney banner, instead of studio head Kevin Feige reporting to Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter. Now it appears that the move was one that kept Feige from quitting. THR reports that Feige was considering leaving over serious tension regarding Captain America: Civil War before the realignment happened.

Feige and Marvel Studios were moved fully under Disney’s banner over the weekend and will report to Disney Studios chief Alan Horn. The move positions Marvel Studios in a similar manner to Pixar and Lucasfilm, whose heads (John Lasseter and Kathleen Kennedy, respectively) are directly under Horn. Unlike those two however, the Marvel move was made because Feige was at his wit’s end after years of frustration with Perlmutter.

The tension boiled over in regard to the budget for Civil War, which had gone up signficantly compared to the previous Cap films due to the scope and huge cast. The film is being looked at as more of a team film than a solo film, with the latter traditionally having lesser (but still signficant) budgets. Perlmutter and the executives at Marvel Entertainment in New York (which includes the “creative committee” overseeing the films, such as Perlmutter’s second in command Alan Fine) wanted the film scaled down as a result. Feige had considered leaving over the situation before Bob Iger approved the reorganization.

The creative committee is not being disbanded, but it will have considerably less influence on Marvel films going forward. They were responsible for providing input on both creative choices and business decisions. Marvel Entertainment is still directly responsible for the Marvel TV division which includes the various Netflix series and ABC’s shows.

One insider noted, “New York had a big say for a long time but hasn’t Kevin earned the right to some autonomy? He’s made the company billions. Why is he reporting to a 72-year-old man who doesn’t make movies?”

There is no word on how much this will change the film business side, although it may not chage at all considering the success that the studio has had. Some are suspecting that the studio may relax its famously hardline approach to talent deals, as Perlmutter was considered a cost-cutter.

Perlmutter has had a reputation of being difficult to work with for some time, and his attitude has shaped some of the aspects of the film universe that tend to get criticized. A leaked email from the Sony hack, for example, saw Perlmutter downplaying the possibility that a female-led superhero film could be profitable. And a recent report from Birth.Death.Movies notes that Perlmutter was the single person who vetoed Black Widow-related merchandise for Avengers: Age of Ultron because, as a source noted, he “believes girl toys do not sell and thus vetoed them again and again. One guy was the roadblock.”

Marvel and Disney have not commented on the story.