More Marvel Studios Drama: Marvel’s ‘Creative Committee’ Has Been Disbanded

Senior Contributor
09.03.15 51 Comments
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Part of the reason the Marvel Cinematic Universe hews fairly close to the comics is that its properties are overseen by the Marvel Creative Committee, a mixture of comic book writers and executives who vet the scripts. Or, rather, was, as the Creative Committee has just been disbanded. And just as telling as its disbanding is what it’s getting blamed for.

For those who haven’t been following, Marvel Studios was recently taken away from Marvel Entertainment, and was widely seen as a power struggle between Disney chairman Alan Horn and Marvel CEO Isaac Perlmutter that Horn won. According to Birth Movies Death, it appears the Creative Committee — which consisted of Kevin Feige, Brian Michael Bendis, Joe Quesada, Alan Fine and Dan Buckley, and weighed in on every Marvel movie — is officially no more, as well. In other words, Disney can make whatever Marvel movies it likes and Marvel itself doesn’t get much of a vote.

Just as telling is this passage, emphasis added:

Over the years I’ve heard many stories of the Creative Committee giving notes that are pedestrian, motivated by ‘save the cat’ story logic and sometimes a drag on creativity. One Marvel creative talked to me about battles with the Creative Committee where they focused on details of nit-picky science that ignored the general tone of the script itself. The notes that drove Edgar Wright off Ant-Man came from the Creative Committee.

Suddenly, this is all over the place. Everybody’s heard “stories” about how bad the Creative Committee was. What’s interesting is if you take a poke through Google and see what people were saying during the distant past of, oh, last year, when the creative committee, when it’s mentioned, is just peachy. The Financial Times was praising it for its savvy moves. TheWrap talked up the genius move by Alan Fine to make Guardians of the Galaxy funny. Not even the rumormongers had anything to say.

And when Edgar Wright left Ant-Man? Oddly enough, issues with the creative committee just… never came up! If anybody got the blame, it was Kevin Feige. In fact, his name comes up a lot back in 2014. I’d note that in the coverage of this power play, Feige is suddenly no longer a member of the creative committee and citing its membership doesn’t include him.

And the buck-passing doesn’t stop there! That Birth Movies Death article also claims it was Perlmutter, and only Perlmutter, responsible for the notorious lack of Black Widow in Avengers merchandise. To be fair, there’s no shortage of unpleasant rumors about Perlmutter, and it’s likely Marvel’s silly attempts to change comics history originate at least partly from Perlmutter. But, until now, what little we’ve heard about this issue has essentially boiled down to Perlmutter going along with a Disney edict.

I’m not defending Perlmutter or the Creative Committee; we simply don’t have the facts to do so, and there’s likely some truth to these claims. But I don’t buy the narrative being fed to the rumor sites, either. This isn’t Disney swooping in to free Marvel Studios to fly to new heights; this is Disney making it clear to Marvel, and Perlmutter, who’s in charge.

(Via Birth Movies Death)

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