Before the MCU, Marvel Studios had limited control over movies based on Marvel characters, frustrating Kevin Feige. Movie deals for licenses meant Marvel characters were in limbo, with someone else controlling them. Feige disliked not having control over Marvel characters and their creative direction.

Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios had little input in all the movies based on Marvel characters, and that frustrated Kevin Feige. Now, that has changed, as most Marvel characters are available for the MCU to use. Upcoming MCU movies such as Deadpool 3 and Fantastic Four are proof of that, as Disney buying Fox allowed Marvel Studios to regain control of several key characters.

In the MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios book, Marvel Studios producer David Maisel and president Feige revealed their issues with pre-MCU movies. Maisel was an important figure at the start of Marvel Studios, arranging the Marvel sale to Disney that would ultimately lead to the MCU being what it is today. As Maisel put it, with the pre-MCU Marvel movies, it was like “handing over your babies to somebody.” Before leading all the MCU movies, Feige tried to advise on past Marvel projects, “but they didn’t listen.” Check out the full quotes below:

“Maisel: 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.

Feige: We suggested but they didn’t listen. We didn’t have the control. I hated that.”

Feige was Marvel Studios’ president, but that did not mean that he had any control over what other studios did with Marvel characters. In fact, many of the pre-MCU Marvel movies were made before Feige was even calling the shots on how to build the MCU. As Marvel had sold the movie rights of several key characters to stay afloat, the studios that bought the rights were free to do as they pleased with the characters, with Feige only controlling the timeline of the MCU.

Another reason that explains why the pre-MCU movies did not listen to Feige’s advice relates to the stories the films wanted to tell. While the MCU has made some creative choices that do not follow the comics exactly, it has mostly stayed true to the spirit of the source material for its stories and characters. On the other hand, many pre-MCU Marvel movies had a clear vision that would not fit the comics in multiple ways, and thus was unlikely to mesh well with Feige’s advice.

In the end, it all worked out okay for Marvel Studios. The pre-MCU movies went through a trial and error period that continued through the franchises that would run simultaneously with the MCU. Now, with the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and Spider-Man — who is shared between Sony and Marvel — available for the MCU to use, Feige can make the most of the forgotten advice he gave in the past. With so many exciting characters, the next chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe promises plenty of excitement.

Source: MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios

Key Release Dates

The Marvels

Deadpool 3

Captain America: Brave New World

Marvel’s Thunderbolts

Blade (2025)

Marvel’s Fantastic Four

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Avengers: Secret Wars

 Marvel Studios now has most of its characters.  Read More