The command structure of Marvel Studios has undergone a remarkable shakeup, leaving President Kevin Feige now directly reporting to Disney’s Alan Horn.
The move comes amid what the company is calling the “logical next step” in Marvel’s integration into the Disney empire. As Variety points out, much of the activity of Marvel Studios will be centralized in Burbank. Marvel’s TV and publishing arms will continue to report to Marvel Entertainment CEO Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, but moving forward, both Feige and Co-President Louis D’Esposito will now directly report to Horn.
— Hypable (@Hypable) September 1, 2015
Feige is widely seen as the creative force that has guided Marvel’s cinematic offerings over the past decade, leaving the studio as one of the key legs of the Disney machine. The move to place Feige in the direct chain of command with Disney executives echoes similar arrangements that have been established at both Pixar and Lucasfilm. The former studio is guided by John Lasseter and Ed Catmull, while Kathleen Kennedy oversees Lucasfilm.
— Den of Geek (@DenofGeekUS) September 1, 2015
Industry reports have famously suggested that Feige and Perlmutter have clashed over the years. As the Hollywood Reporter notes, the reorganization was put in place last week, after Feige apparently vented his frustrations with Perlmutter to Horn and Disney CEO Bob Iger over the summer. The revamp is seen as a blow to Perlmutter, though reports have asserted that he has accepted Feige’s desire to break Marvel’s film group away from its other endeavors.
According to an insider source quoted by the Hollywood Reporter, the move to bring Feige out from under Perlmutter’s authority was no snap decision.
“Everybody knows Ike is difficult. This has been a long time coming. Kevin has grown his entire career under Ike and now it just makes sense.”
— Overnewser – Movies (@moviesovernewz) September 1, 2015
At 42, Feige has amassed considerable power within the Disney empire, and the move to break the Marvel film group free is seen as further evidence of his position. Having produced every movie from Iron Man through to this summer’s blockbusters, Kevin Feige is considered the key architect of the studio’s massive success, and at least one insider has asserted that he has earned the right to break free.
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