In the eyes of fans, rival Hollywood executives, and studios around town, Kevin Feige is the man to beat. He stands at the helm of a seemingly unstoppable Marvel empire, whose reach has spread successfully to movies, television, and streaming services. And for the most part, it seems the company can do no wrong, and thus, Feige is largely perceived to have earned a blank creative and financial slate to do with Marvel as he pleases. However, it would appear that when someone tried to check his great power with some responsibility, it led to a superhero-worthy battle behind closed doors.
THR reports that when the budget on the forthcoming “Captain America: Civil War” — which features nearly every actor from “The Avengers” movies (except Mark Ruffalo/Hulk) plus new Spider-Man Tom Holland — “ballooned,” it concerned Feige’s boss, Marvel Entertainment CEO Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter. Did he have a reason to have some issues with cost overtures? While many comic fans and even the trades shrug off the expanded cost (which isn’t detailed) as just par for the course because of the size of the movie, one might understand why Perlmutter may have wanted to reign it in. After all, “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” cost $30 million dollars more than its predecessor, and earned $100 million dollars less at the box office. Meanwhile, “Ant-Man” is the lowest grossing domestic movie under Feige’s watch since “Captain America: The First Avenger.”
Regardless, Feige reportedly didn’t like the 72 year-old exec’s — who is part of the New York-based “creative committee” who oversee decisions on Marvel movies — suggestion to “scale it down,” so he took it upstairs. Disney CEO Bob Iger intervened, dissolved the New York “creative committee,” and now Feige will report directly to mouse-house top dog, Alan Horn. Apparently Feige’s trump card in all of this was that he “contemplated leaving” Marvel.
I’d wager it probably wasn’t a serious threat so much as a negotiation tactic, but now the proof in the pudding will be in the performance of ‘Civil War.’ Will the film, which is being called “Avengers 2.5” due to the sheer size of it, make the kind of box office numbers that the nickname suggests? Mo’ money, mo’ problems and we’ll find out next summer. But we’ll leave things on a lighter note with this ‘Age Of Ultron’ blooper reel.