Last year, we reported on some behind-the-scenes drama at Marvel. By the end of it, Marvel had lost control of its own film division, with its head, Kevin Feige, reporting directly to Disney’s CEO Alan Horn instead of Marvel CEO Isaac Perlmutter. At the time, it was believed that Avengers: Age of Ultron had “underperformed” despite making $1.4 billion at the box office. But it looks like the breaking point was Cap instead.
The Russo brothers, who directed Captain America: Civil War, have talked a bit about the experience. In our interview with them, they discussed the experience they had filming Winter Soldier and Civil War, but expanded on that a bit in a radio interview:
We’ve been on that [Marvel] journey from Winter Soldier, and it may have been some story points from Civil War that caused the civil war within Marvel… I think that there were years when Kevin Feige was absorbing the pain inflicted on the company.
It’s no secret Civil War was at the center of enormous budget disputes. Iron Man was nearly cut from the movie because Isaac Perlmutter, Marvel’s CEO, felt he cost too much. It appears getting Downey onto the movie finally pushed Feige to seek Disney’s help.
We’ve yet to hear Perlmutter’s side of the dispute, and likely never will. Perlmutter is notoriously reclusive, to the point of attending events in disguise, and has yet to do any interviews or even take a current photograph. Perhaps someday we’ll get the full story of how Marvel lost control of its movies, because clearly there’s a story there, but at least for now we’re getting a clearer picture.
(via the Hollywood Reporter)