It's tempting to imagine a sea change could be headed for the company en masse following the executive's new promotion, but the reality may be somewhat more complicated.
The news that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has added a new title — chief creative officer, Marvel — to his already packed resume is one that is full of intrigue.
Audiences have had a chance to see what he can do with Marvel Studios — and, notably, what he can do with Marvel Studios once he was freedin 2015 from reporting to CEO and chairman Ike Perlmutter, a confidant of President Donald Trump who is known for keeping a tight grip on the purse strings. Perlmutter famously did not want to let Feige make Black Pantherand Captain Marvel, and only put them in development at Disney CEO Bob Iger's ordering.
Now that Feige been placed in charge of creative decisions across all of Marvel's divisions — in the process, giving divisions like the comic book publishing arm, Marvel TV and Marvel Family Entertainment, the freedom from Perlmutter that Feige received four years ago — it's tempting to imagine a sea change could be headed for Marvel en masse. But the reality may be somewhat more complicated.
For one thing, while the man at the top of the food chain might have changed, the systems — and personnel — put in place under Perlmutter remain. Marvel's comic book publishing division, for example, will retain the chain of command that runs: Individual editors — to editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski — to Marvel Entertainment President Dan Buckley, with Buckley now reporting to Feige instead of Perlmutter.
Indeed, former Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada will continue as both EVP, creative director and creative lead for Marvel Entertainment, reporting to Buckley in the new corporate reality, meaning that it's unlikely to expect a drastic shift in the output of Marvel's publishing arm, at least in the short-to-medium term. Considering that Marvel is at something of a marketplace high currently, at least in terms of the comic book store market, this might not be seen as a bad thing by Disney execs.
It should also be noted that, despite Feige's new placement, Buckley will continue to report to Perlmutter for a number of areas, including games, licensing and sales; Perlmutter is not necessarily as out of the picture as some may think from this news, and remains Marvel Entertainment chairman and CEO — meaning that he continues to make decisions regarding the money side of things, traditionally the area where Marvel has found itself the subject of both rumor-mongering and criticism under his control.
So, is this a case of much ado about nothing while the status keeps being quo, then? It depends how such things as measured. More likely than the sudden cancellation of Marvel's entire comic book line before a reboot called The Feigeverse is a slow and, in likelihood, subtle, shift towards Feige's vision, in multiple ways, matching the movement of Marvel Studios post-Perlmutter emancipation. After Feige's break from Perlmutter, it took a few years for projects like Captain Marvel and Black Panther to come to fruition. Though since movies take much longer to develop than comics, theoretically if Feige ordered a change in the comic book status quo today, we could see that reflected on stands in a matter of three months.
Given Marvel publishing's success — in cultural, if not always financial, terms, at least — with characters such as Miles Morales, Kamala Khan, and Lunella Lafayette in recent years, it doesn't seem like too much of a leap to imagine more focus on creating new characters with a more diverse background than, simply, “white guy who's probably blonde.” Not only will it keep Marvel culturally relevant, it'll also create more material for Marvel Studios to pull from in future projects.
Along similar lines, the idea that Marvel's comic book and animation projects could prove key in testing concepts and stories for future movies and live-action shows — long assumed by fans to be a reality, even if the truth may have been less concrete — might become a formalized strategy, leading to guidelines impacting creators on the former projects in a manner different to, but not necessarily worse than, those than already exist in each division.
The attempt to centralize Marvel's creative output under one authority might have an entirely separate outcome that is at once more abstract and more impactful in the real world than simply shifting creative duties on any given project; it's not outside of the realm of possibility that Marvel Entertainment could end up following DC in leaving New York and moving west, to join Marvel Studios in L.A., allowing Feige to have easier access to all divisions he's overseeing. Remember, DC's move west was the result of similar thinking six years ago; then-president Diane Nelson told THR, “it was never optimal to run any business, but certainly not a creative business, on two coasts." Would Feige agree?
Such a move — actually the subject of much speculation earlier this year, hough nothing came of it — would be a significant one not just for Marvel, which has long purposefully identified itself as specifically a New York-based entity, but also comic culture as a whole; the industry started in New York, but a Marvel move would finalize the impression that the west coast is where it's at, with DC, Image Comics, Dark Horse, IDW, Oni Press, Viz Media, and Fantagraphics already in residence. Sorry, New York Comic Con.
All of this, of course, is speculation. For now, all that's known for sure is that Feige has even more on his overfilled plate, and a number of decisions lie ahead for him — with whatever his eventual choices turn out to be primed to impact pop culture drastically going forward. No pressure.
Despite consistent work since the early 2000s, Sterling K. Brown’s breakout role didn’t come until with all apologies to Army Wives 2016’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, where he won an Emmy for portraying prosecutor Christopher Darden. Since then, he’s been on a roll: This Is Us, Black Panther, hosting SNL, the upcoming Frozen 2, playing Sia in the Lonely Island’s The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience. If Brown isn’t in fabled “household name” territory already, he should be — but at least he’s on the cover of magazines, including next month’s Men’s Journal, where he revealed that he was on the short-list to play Stringer Bell on The Wire.
“I remember auditioning for The Wire and being very close to Stringer Bell. What’s been really cool for me in terms of the usual suspects is that it has been a situation of all love. We were like, ‘Somebody’s gonna get the gig. I hope it’s you.’ … At any point 90 percent of all the acting-union members are unemployed, and you’re fighting to be part of the rotating 2 percent. There’s so much rejection that you have to be willing to deal with and let it sort of roll off your back. There are people I know who are absolutely brilliant who had to segue into something else in life.” Via
If a British man Idris Elba can play a business-savvy American Stringer Bell, then an American Sterling K. Brown should be able to play a British spy James Bond. It’s only fair after Heimdall got the role of Stringer over N’Jobu all those years ago.
Kevin Feige is one of the busiest guys in Hollywood, and his position at Marvel just doubled. Not only is he still the sitting president of Marvel Studios, he has just been named Marvel's Chief Creative Officer. This means he will be the overall creative director of all Marvel storytelling across all mediums.
Kevin Feige will now be overseeing not just the movies in Disney's MCU, but also the storytelling on the publishing side of things including the iconic comic books, all of the upcoming TV shows on Disney+ and on other networks including ABC and Hulu, and any animated projects that are in the works.
Marvel Television and Marvel Family Entertainment are now moving under the Marvel Studios Banner. Kevin Feige will still be reporting directly to Walt Disney Studios co-chairman and chief creative officer Alan Horn and co-chairman Alan Bergman on any projects that Marvel Studios wants to move forward with.
Related: Kevin Smith Takes on Scorsese's Marvel Comments: He Made the Biggest Superhero Movie Ever
Marvel Entertainment as a whole will continue to be overseen by President Dan Buckley. Buckley will still be in control of publishing operations, sales, creative services, games, licensing and events, and will continue to report in those areas to Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter.
Joe Quesada is continuing to serve as executive vice president and creative director for Marvel, and will continue reporting to Buckley. Continuing their roles at Marvel will be vice president of content and character development Sana Amanat, editor in chief and head of global editorial CB Cebulski, and Stephen Wacker, vice president of creative and content development. They will also continue reporting to President Dan Buckley.
Kevin Feige is reportedly evaluating all future projects, and will move forward on a case-by-case basis. The news of Feige taking over as Chief Creative Officer came as rumors began spreading that Marvel Television's Jeph Loeb was being phased out. This happens as Kevin Feige begins overseeing a series of MCU inspired Disney+ series that will directly tie into the big screen side of things, with TV shows centered around Hawkeye, She-Hulk, Vision and Scarlet Witch, Ms. Marvel, Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki.
Jeph Loeb had been overseeing a number of Marvel Netflix series including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and The Punisher, all of which have since been canceled. He was also in control of ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is coming to an end with its 7th season. Other series still on the air include Runaways at Hulu and Cloak & Dagger on Freeform, which is awaiting a Season 3 renewal.
Loeb's Ghost Rider series for Hulu has been canceled. His Helstrom series for the streamer is still on though. Aside from the Disney+ live-action MCU series, Marvel Television will be concentrating mostly on animation, and is currently prepping Howard the Duck, MODOK, Hit-Monkey and Tigra and Dazzler for Hulu. These animated shows will all crossover in the event series The Offenders, similar to how the Marvel Netflix shows all culminated in The Defenders. This news comes from Deadline.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige already has one of the most impressive resumes in Hollywood history, shaping the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the ground up and becoming one of the most successful producers of all time in the process. But now he’s become even more powerful, because a new report says he will serve as Marvel Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer, overseeing all of the company’s film, TV, and publishing. That’s a huge increase in responsibility for him, and now he has the power to cause even bigger ripple effects across the industry.
Deadline reports that Feige will become Marvel’s new Chief Creative Officer, and that his oversight will now “extend to the overall creative direction of Marvel’s storytelling and content creation platforms,” including not just film, but TV and comics as well. The company’s key creatives in those departments will now all report directly to him, and the Marvel TV and animation branch Marvel Family Entertainment are shifting under the Marvel Studios umbrella. Historically, Feige has only been in control of the films, although he’s about to dip his toe into TV waters with Marvel’s upcoming Disney+ TV shows like Loki, She-Hulk, Moon Knight, WandaVision, etc. But with this restructuring of the company, his powers will grow substantially.
There are several key points worth discussing here, so let’s break them down one by one.
Feige Probably Won’t Jump Ship to Star Wars
News recently came out that Kevin Feige will be producing a Star Wars film for Kathleen Kennedy over at Lucasfilm, and there has been speculation for years that Feige might one day leave Marvel Studios to become the head of Lucasfilm if Kennedy exits. Feige told us last year that he would not be taking over in that regard, but those rumors continued to persist and wondering whispers began to pop up again with the announcement of his Star Wars movie. On paper, I could see how it makes sense: Feige has clearly accomplished a lot at Marvel Studios, so maybe he’d be interested in moving on to see if he could repeat that success elsewhere. But now that he’s been handed the keys to the Marvel kingdom, making him one of the most powerful entertainment overseers since guys like Louis B. Mayer, Darryl F. Zanuck, Jack Warner, and Harry Cohn lorded over the Golden Age of the Hollywood studio system, it seems unlikely that Feige will jump ship to a galaxy far, far away. This gives him an unprecedented amount of control over the company’s storytelling decisions, which would be an awful lot to throw away so soon after gaining access to this newfound power.
What Happens to Marvel TV?
Marvel TV, which was previously overseen by Jeph Loeb, has been a separate entity from Marvel Studios, which explains why major characters from the movies almost never appeared on shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Loeb recently said that Marvel TV was working on its own shows for Disney+ outside of the Marvel Studios purview, but this announcement may indicate that whatever those projects are could be dead before they even leave the ground. It’s also possible that Loeb is removed from his position entirely.
Now that Feige is overseeing the rest of that branch, does it mean that shows like Hulu’s Runaways will be properly absorbed into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and begin to connect to larger stories being told across multiple platforms? We don’t know exactly what Feige has in store for the TV landscape, but the days of Marvel TV properties being separate from Marvel movies could be coming to an end.
What About Ike Perlmutter?
Perlmutter, who’s been the CEO of Marvel Entertainment for more than a decade, has a background in toy sales, and his… unusual decision-making style was the reason for the studio’s notorious frugality Feige nearly left Marvel altogether when Perlmutter demanded that Captain America: Civil War be given a smaller budget, and Perlmutter’s obstinance is rumored to be the reason that it took so long for diverse characters to take leading roles in Marvel stories since then. So what happens to him now? Well, he’ll still be serving as the Chairman of Marvel Entertainment, and Marvel Entertainment president Dan Buckley will still report to him when it comes to things like publishing operations, sales, creative services, games, licensing, and events. But Buckley will now report to Feige for all publishing creative/editorial decisions, meaning Perlmutter has essentially been cut out of the equation. Without Perlmutter’s roadblocks, the entire Marvel storytelling landscape has the potential to be totally reshaped under Feige’s vision.
In short, 2019 is a Very Good Year for Kevin Feige, who was already swimming in the success of having produced the highest-grossing movie of all time earlier this year in Avengers: Endgame and staring down a new chapter in his history with the company. Now his legacy will extend beyond just movies, and I’m very curious to see what he does with this newfound status. As Feige well knows: with great power comes great responsibility.
The picture for Venom 2 is slowly starting to come into focus and the villain situation just got twice as deadly. Not only is the sequel going to bring Carnage into the fold, but it's come to light that Shriek will also be getting in on the action. This means Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock will certainly have his hands full during his second solo outing.
According to a new report, Shriek will be included in Venom 2, however, the casting process is still underway, so there's no word on who will be playing her just yet. Shriek, in the pages of Marvel Comics, is the girlfriend of Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage, who will be played by Woody Harrellson in the sequel. Harrellson made a cameo appearance during a post-credit scene in the first Venom. Shriek initially appeared in the pages of Spider-Man Unlimited #1, which was part of the Maximum Carnage storyline. It's worth noting that Maximum Carnage remains one of Marvel's most beloved crossover events in history and sees Spider-Man, amongst others, teaming up with Venom to take down the murderous villain. That could open the door for several other appearances if the sequel's story is taking inspiration from that particular crossover.
Shriek started life as a character named Frances Barrison, a drug dealer who gained the ability to manipulate sound, which allows her to shoot sonic energy blasts from her hands. Shriek also has the ability to fly and can tap into people's minds, bringing out their innermost fears. She gained her powers through being a mutant, while also exposure to Cloak's of Cloak and Dagger fame Darkforce Dimension. The character has appeared in several animated shows and video games but hadn't previously been brought into the live-action fold.
Related: Venom 2 Reunites Director Andy Serkis with Oscar-Winning Cinematographer Robert Richardson
Plot details for Venom 2 are currently being kept under wraps. We know that Tom Hardy will return, as will Michelle Williams as Anne Weying. Given the double trouble in the villain department, it's certainly possible we could see some more She-Venom action this time around. Motion-capture extraordinaire Andy Serkis Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle has been tapped to direct. Ruben Fleischer helmed the first movie, but his commitments with Zombieland: Double Tap made it difficult for him to return to the director's chair for the follow-up.
Venom proved to be a massive and truly unexpected hit in 2018. Though the majority of critics weren't buying what Sony was selling, audiences were very much on board, which carried the Marvel Comics adaptation to a staggeringly impressive $856 million global haul. That not only ensured a sequel, but also helped Sony kickstart some other spin-off movies, such as Morbius and the recently revealed Madame Web movie. Venom 2 is set to begin production early next year and is currently expected to be released on October 2, 2020. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. This news comes to us via Deadline.
Deadpool 2 slashes its way into theaters everywhere on May 18th, 2018. Its PG-13 revamp, Once Upon a Deadpool, came several months later on December 12th. Since then, however, Disney's massive purchase of 20th Century Fox has gone through, effectively returning the cinematic licensing of the famed “Merc with a Mouth,” the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and several other comic book characters back to Marvel Studios, one of the mouse's many subsidiaries. So, what's happening with Deadpool 3? Anything?
According to a rather teasing Instagram post from star Ryan Reynolds, implicitly a lot. “Auditioned for the role of 'Anthony Stark,'” he wrote. “Didn't come even remotely close, but the nice man with the taser escorted me to the ground.”
The obvious Iron Man joke notwithstanding, Reynolds offered his followers absolutely nothing in regards to the fate of Deadpool 3 and the character's uncertain future in the ever-extending Marvel Cinematic Universe. Even so, just the fact that the actor was standing in the Marvel Studios offices in front of their official logo was enough to get the fans going. What's more, Reynolds' presence there also reflected what Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have been saying in numerous interviews regarding their latest project, Zombieland: Double Tap.
“The plan is to keep Deadpool in his R-rated universe,” Wernick told Uproxx. “I think Disney knows what it has in Deadpool and how special it is, and unique, and I think they'll let us continue to play in that sandbox. And the hope moving forward beyond that is that we get to bring in some MCU toys along the way.” In another interview, Reese said much of the same: “There's a lot to be sorted out, like how Deadpool fits into the Marvel Universe with the other characters and into the release schedule of the MCU... There's a lot to be sorted out and I think we're all getting a much-needed rest from Deadpool — Ryan and us and everybody.”