Last week we talked a bit here about the recent behind the scenes shake-up at Disney Marvel, which saw Disney’s Bob Iger realign Marvel under Disney’s Alan Horn instead of Marvel’s Ike Perlmutter. The move also meant a diminished role for Marvel’s ‘Creative Committee’ (Alan Fine, Joe Quesada, Dan Buckley and Brian Bendis) as far as the movies were concerned. The Hollywood Reporter has additional reporting on the move and what it means for Marvel’s Kevin Feige, the Creative Committee and Marvel’s movie and television projects.
From the Hollywood Reporter:
Civil War, set for release May 6, has been nicknamed Avengers 2.5 because its scope — and its huge cast — is more in line with the Marvel mega-movies than the studio’s normal single-hero outings. Set for release in May 2016, Civil War sees the Marvel heroes pitted against each other. It features almost every actor from the Avengers movies, including Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, and introduces Tom Holland as a new screen version of Spider-Man.
Sources say the budget on Civil War ballooned accordingly, which didn’t sit well with the famously frugal Perlmutter. “New York wanted to scale it down,” says one insider. Marvel and Disney declined to comment.
“New York” in this case wasn’t just Perlmutter, 72. It was also Marvel’s so-called “creative committee,” a group of execs from Marvel’s various divisions including publishing as well as Alan Fine, Perlmutter’s right-hand man. The collective has been around since nearly the inception of Marvel Studios in the mid-2000s, offering critiques of creative choices as well as input on business decisions. Insiders say that with Feige breaking free of Perlmutter and the New York side of the company the committee will not be disbanded, but its influence over the Marvel movies will be nominal at best.
More below the fold…
What about the ‘Creative Committee’ and Marvel’s TV projects?
The reorganization does not affect Marvel’s television unit, which has enjoyed far less success than the film operation but does have several series on the air, including Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter on ABC and Daredevil on Netflix. The TV arm still reports to Perlmutter and the committee. Publisher Dan Buckley and chief creative officer Joe Quesada are among those who will remain on the committee for continuity purposes as some coordination and cooperation is required for Marvel’s film, TV, comic book and merchandising arms to capitalize on projects and events.
And how bad had things gotten between Marvel Studios, Perlmutter and the ‘Creative Committee’ before Bob Iger stepped in?
Sources say Feige, 42, contemplated leaving Marvel — certainly, he might be the industry’s single most employable executive — before Disney CEO Bob Iger approved a reorganization that sees Feige reporting to Horn.
On what insiders say about the move – off the record, of course:
In terms of how business is done on the film side, the impact of the shake-up is not yet clear. “Why would it change?” says one top agent. “It’s proven to be successful, and everyone still wants to be part of the Marvel Universe.” But another top dealmaker holds out hope that the company will ease up on its notoriously tough terms in talent deals for all but the biggest Marvel stars. “I’m secretly hoping that it gets better with this realignment,” this person says. “They’re cheap, they’re aggressive. It certainly can’t get any worse.”
Another person who has dealt with Marvel on numerous deals expressed hope that Marvel may loosen its tight reins on talent deal points. For example, Marvel, with several exceptions, does not pay merchandising royalties, which is not the industry norm, according to this source. Also, Marvel demands the right to use up to three minutes of an actor’s performance from one movie for another, described as “bridging material,” when the broader norm is 30 seconds.
Adds another top player: “I think it will be smoother and easier without Ike.”