Earlier in the week, it was reported that Marvel is going through a big restructuring, which finally sees Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige being freed from the Emperor like vice-grip of penny-pinching Marvel Entertainment CEO Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter. Now, Kevin Feige will report directly to Disney chief Alan Horn. And while we've heard a few reasons as to why this finally happened, including a recent story that pins the big change on Avengers: Age of Ultron failing to meet expectations at the box office, a new report from THR puts all the blame on something else entirely. According to inside sources, the ballooning budget on Captain America: Civil War is almost entirely to blame for the big Marvel shake-up.
There was reportedly a lot of friction between Kevin Feige and Ike Perlmutter over the budget on Captain America: Civil War, with Perlmutter often described as 'frugal' in the press. The Marvel Studios boss even threatened to bail, when Disney CEO Bob Iger came up with a new plan. That new plan now sees Kevin Feige and co-president Louis D'Esposito working directly under Disney instead of Marvel Entertainment.
Inside sources say Kevin Feige suffered through years of frustration, which finally came to a head during the production of Captain America: Civil War, which recently wrapped filming in Georgia. Others say the move was inevitable as the Marvel Studios film division slowly gravitated towards Disney and its Burbank Studio lot. But there is no denying that Captain America: Civil War is a big movie. Some have dubbed it Avengers 2.5, because it is bringing in nearly every established superhero from the current MCU, save for Hulk and Thor. And it will also introduce a few new faces, such as Black Panther and Spider-Man. The cast is almost as big as the film's scope. And it falls more in line with Marvel's mega-movies such as 2012's Marvel's The Avengers and this past summer's Avengers: Age of Ultron. It is not just a solo superhero outing. And needed to be treated as such.
With such a big movie comes a big budget, and once Spider-Man was added to the mix, the money needed to keep the project afloat swelled accordingly. This did not sit well with ol' Scrooge McPerlmutter. He demanded that the bulging budget be scaled way down. At this time, neither Disney nor Marvel will comment on the matter.
Ike Perlmutter wasn't the only problem facing Marvel Studios. The much-maligned Marvel Creative Committee disbanded as part of the new pact. It had been a source of contention for many filmmakers over the years. Rumor has it that the Creative Committee's notes on Ant-Man are what drove writer-director Edgar Wright off the project, after being attached as the director and co-writer (with Joe Cornish) for nearly a decade. The Creative Committee included Alan Fine, who came to Marvel with Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter after their stints at Toy Biz, Brian Bendis, who is a prolific Marvel Comics writer, Marvel Comics publisher Dan Buckley and Marvel Enterprises Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada. The collective was established sometime in the mid-2000s, well before Marvel Studios hit its triumphant stride with Iron Man in 2008.
While an initial report claimed that the Marvel Creative Committee was dissolved, this new report claims that isn't entirely the case. They are still together, but their involvement and insight into the film side of things will be extremely limited. They will still help out on the TV side of things, which hasn't been affected at all by the Marvel restructuring. The TV division has been far less successful than the movie side of things, but they do have a few fan favorite shows currently airing. On ABC, they have Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which returns for Season 3 this fall. And they also have Agent Carter, which returns midseason for Season 2. A spinoff was recently announced titled Marvel's Most Wanted. There are also a number of series on Netflix that are currently streaming, or coming to the service over the course of the next two years, including Marvel's Daredevil and Marvel's Jessica Jones. The TV arm will still report to Ike Perlmutter. About the change-up, one insider had this to say.
"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?"
Kevin Feige was seriously considering bailing ship when the reorganization was approved. Right now, the affects of this shake-up aren't quite clear. Some believe nothing will change, as the Studio has already proven to be successful. Though, some speculate that talent deals will loosen up. Says one insider about this aspect.
"I'm secretly hoping that it gets better with this realignment. They're cheap, they're aggressive. It certainly can't get any worse."
One hope is that Marvel loosens its tight rein on talent deal points, finally paying merchandising royalties to actors. Marvel also demands the right to use at least three minutes of any actor's performance as bridging material from one movie to the next. The industry norm is 30 seconds. Most just think the whole process of making a Marvel movie will be 'smoother and easier' with Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter out of the picture. Can he really be that big of a super villain, though? Ask anybody who knows him, and your bound to get a resounding, 'Yes!'