As Marvel Studios and the Walt Disney Company gear up for the debut of Disney+, behind the scenes shifts promise to change the way major Marvel storylines are created across its platforms. And after transforming the way audiences view theatrical moviegoing, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is getting a new title as he prepares to do the same for television.
Deadline was the first to break the news that in addition to his Marvel Studios title, Feige will now be known as Marvel’s chief creative officer. What this title apparently means is that as Marvel Studios prepares its slew of television programming on Disney+, all creative divisions, including Marvel Television and Marvel Family Entertainment, are being rolled up under Feige’s watchful gaze and the Marvel Studios logo.
This is not exactly a shocking move, as Marvel has been methodically winding down its licensed agreements of shows on other networks over the last few years, most famously resulting in the deaths of Marvel Television’s Netflix oeuvre that included Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Despite the insistence of producers on those series, or for that matter ABC’s Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter, that their shows were in the same “shared universe” as the wildly popular Marvel Studios movies, the films never once acknowledged those shows’ continuities. Now the aim is to stop producing content for other networks and streaming platforms, and to produce in-continuity TV series, as well as Feige-approved cartoons, on Disney+. What this means for current Marvel TV projects either existing or in development on other networks (such as Runaways, Hellstrom, and “The Offenders” line of animated shows on Hulu or Cloak and Dagger on Freeform) remains to be seen, as does where current Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb lands in all of this.
Further Marvel Entertainment President Dan Buckley will stay in place, but when it comes to the editorial content he and the Marvel entertainment creative lead, Joe Quesada, will now report to Feige instead of Marvel Chairman Ike Perlmutter. Buckley will still report to Perlmutter in regards to merchandising, publishing operations, sales, licensing, and apparently video games, but Feige will now have some oversight over Marvel superheroes on the comics page as well.
This signals certainly a changing of the times for Marvel, as well as further proof Marvel Studios is now the driver of the brand image of Marvel superheroes, as opposed to their comic book origins. It also showcases the ever stronger influence of Marvel at Disney, with Feige essentially in charge of Disney’s most profitable vertical as the Mouse House begins a new era in streaming entertainment. The times, they are a-changin.’