Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, had to overcome a number of obstacles in the early days of the MCU back in 2008, even before the release of ‘Iron Man’, especially with everything to do with licensing characters that were not part of the studio at the time. So much so that he came to “hate” the lack of control over the Marvel movies that were released at the time, with such controversial examples as ‘Daredevil’, ‘Fantastic Four’, ‘Ghost Rider’ or ‘Blade Trinity’. This is reflected in the recently released book MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, where it is said that the head of the MCU lamented the lack of control over the Marvel movies that preceded the MCU.
What Kevin Feige hated about the pre-MCU era
Although licenses such as ‘Spider-Man’ or ‘X-Men’ enjoyed more or less successful adaptations before the start of the MCU, many other characters had a disappointing run in theaters, such as the aforementioned ‘Daredevil’, ‘Fantastic Four’, ‘Ghost Rider’ or ‘Blade Trinity’. This forced Feige and his team to focus on characters whose licenses they did have, such as ‘Iron Man’, ‘Thor’ or ‘Captain America’, among others.
However, Kevin Feige tried to persuade the heads of Marvel movies outside the MCU to write scripts that didn’t interfere with what he was building, and if they would take some advice to build something more solid from the ground up: “We suggested but they didn’t listen. We didn’t have control. I hated that,” Kevin Feige admitted, revealing a certain amount of frustration on the part of Marvel’s current Chief Creative Officer.
David Maisel himself, the former head of Marvel Studios, has admitted his frustration at not having access to a number of Marvel characters for his films due to licensing in the 2000s: “Your character is in limbo and somebody else controls it. When you make a movie deal for a license, you’re freezing animation, you’re freezing a lot of other things. You’re handing over your babies to somebody, and nothing happens.”
However, years later Disney would complete the purchase of Fox to get a lot of licenses that will be used in the MCU in the near future, such as the ‘X-Men’ or ‘Fantastic Four’, in addition to recovering other characters such as those of the ‘Daredevil’ universe or the deals with Sony in relation to ‘Spider-Man’ and the Spiderverse.
Craig Kyle, writer and Marvel employee has already pointed out that the goal was always to get all these licenses back for the MCU: “From the moment I touched down in Marvel, Kevin had been telling Avi [Arad] we have to get the rights back. Avi was in a situation where he represented all of Marvel. He was the face of Marvel Studios. Kevin was in there to make great movies. That could never be a guarantee until we could actually control the process.”
The MCU now has a very promising future with the arrival of all these licenses, with future projects like the Mutants or Fantastic Four. Some rumors even suggest that ‘Avengers Secret Wars’ will serve as a new starting point with the recovery of classic characters and the entry of all these licenses.
The Marvel Studios director shares his experience with Marvel’s pre-MCU superhero movies, and it wasn’t pretty. Read More