The Producers Guild of America (PGA) will honor Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige with the 2019 David O. Selznick Achievement Award for his body of work in movies. Feige will accept the award at the 30th Annual Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles.
With more than $17.6 billion in global box office to date, how does Marvel do it? It boils down to Feige, sole producer of 19 Marvel movies since “Iron Man” in 2008, all of which opened at number one. Marvel’s master is a Boston-born, New Jersey-raised movie nerd who collected ticket stubs, sat through “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” 13 times and was rejected by USC film school four or five times before being accepted.
There, he saw an intern posting for The Donners Company, where he swiftly rose to assistant to producer Lauren Shuler Donner. She eventually let him sit in on meetings for “X-Men,” which led to meeting his future Marvel boss, Avi Arad. Little by little, people listened to his ideas: All the answers were there in the Marvel comics.
When Sony chairman Amy Pascal asked if he would give her notes on the next “Spider-Man,” he had the temerity to say no. The meeting was over. But she thought about it, and later saw the wisdom in his offer. Before she did, Feige had two working versions of “Captain America: Civil War,” with and without Tom Holland as Spidey.
Feige’s constant search for new and diverse talent inside and outside the Marvel talent pool reached its apex with this year’s release of global critical and box office juggernaut “Black Panther,” the top-grossing domestic release of 2018 with more than $1.3 billion worldwide. Feige is expanding the MCU with upcoming women-led “Captain Marvel” and storylines featuring strong female characters from Black Widow and beyond.
Such films as “The Avengers,” “Captain America,” “Iron Man,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Thor,” “Doctor Strange,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and, most recently, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” are among the 20 Marvel titles that have opened to #1 at the box office.
“Kevin Feige set for himself one of the most ambitious tasks ever attempted in cinematic storytelling, and then over-delivered on it,” said Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher, Presidents of the PGA. “What Kevin has accomplished with Marvel Studios is one of the great success stories of this generation. And now, with ‘Black Panther’ and the upcoming ‘Captain Marvel,’ Kevin has broadened our entire industry’s expectations for what tentpole movies look like—in front of the camera, behind the camera and in the audience.”
Past recipients of the David O. Selznick Award include Charles Roven, David Heyman, Stanley Kramer, Billy Wilder, Clint Eastwood, Jerry Bruckheimer, Brian Grazer, Laura Ziskin, Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall, Scott Rudin, and Steven Spielberg.