When Ike Perlmutter Almost Fired a Disney Exec for Not Picking Up

When Ike Perlmutter Almost Fired a Disney Exec for Not Picking Up

In recent years, Bleeding Cool has been your number one provider of whatever the hell it is Marvel chair Ike Perlmutter has been up to. When I began covering some of his odder aspects of behaviour, it was restricted to Marvel comics and toys, then to movies. When Disney bought Marvel for four billion dollars, including one billion going to Ike, he was let loose across Disney and we followed him wherever he went. Then Ike Perlmutter threw millions behind his best mate from Florida, Donald Trump, and his presidential bid and, as a result, ended up being part of the Trump administration, doing what he did to Disney but now to Veterans Affairs, all the time while he was still embroiled in litigation over who runs the local tennis court in his Palm Beach place of residence. Which has included DNA theft, libel kits imported from Canada, and Marvel e-mails being subpoenaed.

Trump's Loss Crushed Ike Perlmutter, But Helped Free Jawad Amir Musa
Donald Trump shakes hands with Marvel Chair Ike Perlmutter at a bill signing. Screencap YouTube

Some stories are true, some – like the Iron Man 3 female villain blocking – are false. But now we have another, courtesy of Chris Fenton. Fenton was president of the Chinese-based DMG Entertainment Motion Picture Group, General Manager of DMG North America (owners of Valiant Comics), and Senior Advisor to IDW Media Holdings. He has now written a book, Feeding The Dragon, looking at his career, getting American movies into Chinese markets, notably Looper and Iron Man 3I just read it, quite the page-turner, and there are so many nuggets to share. You can follow along with a few I'm sharing with this tag. So what stories does he have to tell about Ik Perlmutter? Just the one, to his DMG business partner and later litigant, Dan Mintz, as they are making the case for Marvel to go big with China over the release of Iron Man 3.

"He's an interesting character for sure. In fact, a friend warned me that he could be ruthless."

"How so?"

"Apparently, after the Disney deal closed, Ike called most Disney executives directly, demanding to speak to each immediately. When one didn't respond, he called again, leaving a message to call back ASAP. When a very short amount of time passed without a response, he called again, telling the assistant to get her boss immediately. In one situation, the assistant panicked, reaching out to colleagues to find her boss. Ike held the whole time until the executive was found."

"What happened when he was found?" Daniel asked.

"I heard the conversation went as follows:

"'Hello, Ike. Nice to meet you over the phone. Sorry about the wait.'

"'Do you know how many strikes a batter gets in baseball?' Ike asked the nervous exec.

"'A what?' The guy was confused. Totally caught off guard.

"'How many strikes do you get? You know the game, right?'

"'Yes, of course. I'm sorry.' The exec was left scratching his head.

No idea where Ike was going. 'Three strikes.'

"'Correct. And you already have two with me.' Then Ike abruptly hung up.

"That executive was stunned. Couldn't stop shaking the rest of the day, so he just left. Took sick days the rest of the week too, apparently. Took a while to recover."

"Yikes," Daniel responded.

"We just need to get a deal to work financially and creatively. Ike will want to make money, so we need to show a path. If he signs on, then we need to get Kevin excited creatively. Two masters to please here. Let's get on the horn with China tonight."

Feeding The Dragon by Chris Fenton is published by Post Hill Press and distributed by Simon & Schuster.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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