When Disney first bought Marvel Comics in 2009, there was a very palpable fear in fandom that Marvel would be subsumed by the beast and lose whatever edge it had. There were lots of questions. In the last six years, some of them were even answered.
But much of it resolved around how independent Marvel would remain, and there were plenty of promises that it would. Marvel would remain independent of Disney's concerns.
I don't think anyone predicted that a part of Marvel would choose to give that independence up.
Marvel Films decision to integrate itself into Disney is rumoured to be based on Marvel studio head Kevin Feige's desire to be sequestered from differing opinions, ideas and anyone close to the source material that he liberally pulls from, for his movies,
I'm hearing Disney's hand was forced by Feige in what was clearly a coup d'etat, from Marvel CEO Isaac Perlmutter and the other Marvel divisions. According to THR, Feige threatened to resign over conflict with the costs of Civil War. Disney submitted to his demands. This was his price. And he swung the press his way – not for the first time.
So Kevin Feige has moved the movie side of Marvel Films away from the purview of Isaac Perlmutter, reporting directly to Disney's Alan Horn. But it's far more than just a move of responsibilities. It is a coup d'etat.
Bleeding Cool reported on how Kevin already closed the Marvel Creative Committee that saw key people with comic book experience have influence on the rest of the company, with the performance of Age Of Ultron used as the patsy. Indeed, I understand from Disney sources that he sees anyone not involved closely with his film division and from the East Coast specifically as spies and under suspicion.
And so, just as the next Captain America movie is named Civil War (based on the Marvel comic of the same name), so Marvel is now driven by a Civil War between Feige and Perlmutter.
So which side are you on?
I've been told that Isaac Perlmutter, while very hands on when it comes to the business, steps away when creative decisions are made, only returning for business matters. This is where the disbanding of the MCC becomes interesting and also precarious. As Feige doesn't want anyone on any front telling him what to do. preferring a Disney with looser reign and looser pockets.
This could very well be a good thing, but neither approach has been proven to make successful movies, especially where Disney is concerned. Remember the likes of Tomorrowland, Prince Of Persia, Tron, John Carter or Lone Ranger?
This also seems eerily familiar to the current Warners/DC situation and – Dark Knight movies aside – where it has led them to.
As a result, despite certain reservations of supping with the devil, creative voices at the publisher seem to be on Perlmutter's side right now. Though hardly any of them are speaking publicly.
It's going to be an… interesting New York Comic Con in a month. I'm hitting the bars…