When it comes to Hollywood executives, few are as synonymous with their production company’s films as Kevin Feige is with Marvel Studios.
Appointed President of Marvel Studios in 2007, Feige has been intrinsically tied to the studio’s growth into the billion-dollar-movie printing machine that it is today.
However, according to Mark Ruffalo — who has starred as Bruce Banner/Hulk since 2012’s The Avengers — Feige almost lost his job with the studio just as they were turning into the behemoth empire we all know today.
“When we did the first Avengers, Kevin Feige told me, ‘Listen, I might not be here tomorrow.’ And he’s like, ‘Ike [Isaac Perlmutter, Disney’s largest shareholder at the time] does not believe that anyone will go to a female-starring superhero movie. So if I am still here tomorrow, you will know that I won that battle.’”
“Because Kevin wanted black superheroes, women superheroes, LGBT superheroes. He changed the whole Marvel universe. We now have a gay superhero on the way, we have black superheroes, we have female superheroes – Scarlett Johansson has her movie coming out, we have Captain Marvel, they are doing She-Hulk next. No other studio is being that inclusive on that level… This is the f*cking world.” [via The Independent]
Feige was clearly correct in his beliefs, as Captain Marvel went on to gross over $1.1 billion worldwide. For comparison, Justice League — which features Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman — made around $658 million. So, yeah, Marvel Studios is probably glad they took Feige’s advice on that one.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or contact him email@example.com