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CEO Bob Iger Throws The Marvels Director Nia DaCosta Under The Bus

Disney CEO Bob Iger appears to throw The Marvels director Nia DaCosta under the bus by saying "there wasn’t as much supervision on the set."

Article Summary

  • Bob Iger comments on The Marvels' lack of supervision impacting the film.
  • Other Disney films' box office fails spotlighted without blaming directors.
  • Iger reflects on unsustainable past box office expectations for Disney.
  • Criticism of Disney's high budgeting despite changing financial landscapes.

The year is starting to close, so people are beginning to point fingers for failures. For Disney, there have been more failures than success stories this year. Films that should have done well, like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Wish, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, The Marvels, and more over at 20th Century Studios, all underperformed at the box office. The studio is now in panic mode, trying to reassure the shareholders that it wasn't the fact that all of the above films just weren't that good or that we're only three years out from a pandemic that changed everyone's lives as we know or we're in a recession where people are too broke to do expensive things like go to the movies. Instead of taking on any of the failings himself, Iger decided to throw The Marvels director Nia DaCosta specifically under the bus at The New York Times' DealBook Summit (via CNBC). "'The Marvels' was shot during Covid," he explained. "There wasn't as much supervision on the set, so to speak, where we have executives [that are] really looking over what's being done day after day after day."

Bob Iger Teases More FIlms Could Head Straight to Disney+
Editorial credit: JStone /

The problem is, if you look at the above list of films that also underperformed just this year alone, Iger is not suggesting that they needed "supervision." No one tried to say that Peyton Reed needed a set babysitter when Quantumania underperformed. No one said they should've been looking over James Mangold's shoulder when he was filming Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. In fact, they trusted him so much that Lucasfilm is bringing him back for a Star Wars film, though it's unclear if he needs a set babysitter.

The reality is the massive drop in 2018/2019 box office numbers would always happen before studios had the virus to use as a scapegoat. The writing was on the wall, and we could even see the rumblings on it as films that should have done very well had slow or no starts at the beginning of 2020 before everything shut down. Even Iger admitted that it wasn't sustainable.

"And I'm not sure another studio will ever achieve some of the numbers that we achieved. I mean, we got to the point where if a film didn't do a billion dollars in global box office, we were disappointed," he said. "That's an unbelievably high standard, and I think we have to get more realistic."

The Marvels: Nia Dacosta on
Director Nia DaCosta on the set of Marvel Studios' THE MARVELS. Photo by Laura Radford. © 2023 MARVEL.

However, Iger and everyone under him are still budgeting movies like they will hit 2018/2019 numbers. No film should have to crack half a billion dollars to get out of the red, but that is the reality that these films are going into. That is a failure of management, not the creatives because no director or person on the ground filming is in charge of budgeting. The above films have massive budgets that Iger and those just below him greenlit, and if things are coming back red at the end of the day, they really have no one to blame but themselves for living in the past.

The Marvels: Summary, Cast List, Release Date

Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree and taken revenge on the Supreme Intelligence. But unintended consequences see Carol shouldering the burden of a destabilized universe. When her duties send her to an anomalous wormhole linked to a Kree revolutionary, her powers become entangled with that of Jersey City super-fan Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, and Carol's estranged niece, now S.A.B.E.R. astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau. Together, this unlikely trio must team up and learn to work in concert to save the universe as The Marvels.

Marvel Studios' The Marvels stars Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Zawe Ashton, Gary Lewis, Seo-Jun Park, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Saagar Shaikh, and Samuel L. Jackson. Nia DaCosta directs, with Kevin Feige producing. Louis D'Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Mary Livanos, Jonathan Schwartz, and Matthew Jenkins serve as executive producers. The screenplay is by Nia DaCosta and Megan McDonnell, and Elissa Karasik.

Marvel Studios' The Marvels opened in U.S. theaters on November 10th.

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Kaitlyn BoothAbout Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Film critic and pop culture writer since 2013. Ace. Leftist. Nerd. Feminist. Writer. Replicant Translator. Cinephillic Virtue Signaler. She/Her. UFCA/GALECA Member. 🍅 Approved. Follow her Threads, Instagram, and Twitter @katiesmovies.
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