It’s hard to imagine what the Marvel Cinematic Universe would look like without Kevin Feige, since he has been guiding the studio since its inception. But if controversial Marvel Entertainment Chairman Isaac Perlmutter had his way eight years ago, Feige would have been out. Newly-reinstated Disney CEO Bob Iger claims that Perlmutter wanted to remove Feige as the president of Marvel Studios back in 2015. However, Iger intervened on Feige’s behalf and prevented this from happening.
Marvel fans have heard a version of this story before. In 2020, Mark Ruffalo told The Independent that Feige was ready to walk away from the studio on his own after the first Avengers movie hit theaters in 2012. Because apparently, Perlmutter (who still oversaw Marvel’s film projects at the time) shot down Feige’s ideas to make the MCU a more inclusive space for female, Black, and LGBT superheroes. It wasn’t until 2015 that corporate restructuring took Perlmutter out of the equation and allowed Feige to report directly to then-Disney chairman Alan Horn. This paved the way for films like Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Eternals to finally get the green light.
However, the bit about Perlmutter actually trying to oust Feige from the studio is brand new information. Iger dropped this bombshell while speaking with CNBC about Wendy’s Company chairman Nelson Peltz’s recently-failed bid to get a seat on Disney’s board, which Perlmutter supported. When asked why Perlmutter was so insistent on having Peltz join the company, Iger remarked that the pair have “a curious dynamic.”
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“They have a relationship that dates back quite some time,” said Iger. “We bought Marvel in 2009. I promised Ike the job that he would continue to run Marvel after that. Not forever, necessarily. But after that. And in 2015 he was intent on firing Kevin Feige who was running Marvel’s studio, the movie-making [operation] at the time, and I thought that was a mistake and stepped in to prevent that from happening. I think Kevin is an incredibly, incredibly talented executive that you know, the Marvel track record speaks for itself. And so I moved the movie-making operation of Marvel out from under Ike into the movie studio under Alan Horn.”
Perlmutter is famously reclusive, rarely making any public appearances since the early ’90s. But for years, he’s been a controversial figure. Regardless, even though it’s been almost a decade, it sounds like Perlmutter is still sour about having the MCU snatched away from him.
“You’d have to ask Ike about that,” admitted Iger. “But let’s put it this way. He was not happy about it. And I think that unhappiness exists today. And you know, what the link is between that and Nelson, his relationship. I think that’s something that you can speculate about. I won’t.”
How would you have felt if Kevin Feige was fired from Marvel? Let us know in the comment section below!
Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney
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