News broke yesterday that Marvel Films was being reorganized within the Disney company so that President Kevin Feige would report directly to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. While news of a studio reorganization is usually the stuff for entertainment industry publications, this involves beloved geek properties in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and actually has some fantastic consequences for fans of the Marvel films. Marvel Studios is now free to go after bigger talent for their main roles–we might even have a chance to see Jennifer Lawrence as Captain Marvel! Jump after the break to find out why it’s now possible!
Here are the most important points geeks should know about the Marvel studios move:
- Kevin Feige wanted to change the reporting structure. Large reorganizations can cause significant turmoil in a big company and you can expect some career moves to follow if the reorganization wasn’t wanted. In this case, Feige advocated for this move so this is not a negative thing for Marvel Studios. Making Feige happy is a very, very good thing.
- Marvel COO Ike Perlmutter was a difficult boss. With a name like Perlmutter it’s amazing he didn’t end up a supervillain, but instead he was a shrewd businessman who led Marvel to its most prosperous times mostly through its film division. Still, the elder billionaire is known for being a micromanager and a penny-pincher and also a bit weird. You can read the Hollywood Reporter profile on Perlmutter if you’d like but just know that he attended the Iron Man premiere in disguise and he also famously complained how journalists at a Marvel press junket were being given two sodas instead of just one.
- Feige now gets to take Marvel to the next level. Perlmutter was so focused on the bottom line that they drove away a significant amount of talent. The Marvel movie contract is a notoriously difficult beast and there’s a reason why the movies have tended to focus on lesser known talent unless it’s a short cameo or one-picture role such as Robert Redford. When rising star Benedict Cumberbatch was signed as Dr. Strange there was a bit of surprise in the industry that he would sign the deal–even though his other movies had not been monster hits he could write his own ticket. Perhaps even in this past year Feige has been laying the groundwork with Horn on moving Marvel beyond its frugal past. Perhaps now we can see even more A-list talent reach the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Jennifer Lawrence can now be Captain Marvel. Because now they can afford her in terms of budget (without Perlmutter insisting on paying his stars nothing–Robert Downey Jr was the only exception and why we may never see Iron Man 4 with him in the role). And with Feige reporting to Horn who has a bit more movie-making experience, the standard Marvel deal of signing up actors to many, many movies at reduced rates (which tends to scare off established actors) may also be changed. All of this leads to more freedom to land top talent like Ms Lawrence–and that’s a great thing.