After Disney CEO Bob Iger was reinstated, he implemented significant cost-cutting across the board, and even Marvel executives felt the burn. Earlier this week, Victoria Alonso, the President of Physical, Postproduction, VFX, and Animation at Marvel Studios, was fired, and Marvel’s chairman Ike Perlmutter followed her as of yesterday.
But after recent complaints of the cruel treatment of VFX artists at Marvel, her involvement in said pressuring came to light, and she was promptly let go. So, it isn’t surprising that someone as influential, and yet problematic, as Perlmutter would also be fired.
Before I dig into Ike’s controversial history, I’d like to highlight his contribution to Marvel and the MCU. So, let’s get to it!
The Marvel executive has been in the company since the 90s, even before the MCU was introduced – in fact, he was one of the people who helped launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His input behind pre-MCU films like Hulk, Daredevil, and Spider-Man pulled Marvel out of the financial hole it had ended up in after selling the rights to those characters.
Perlmutter first served on Marvel’s board before 2008, after which he assumed the role of Marvel Entertainment’s CEO. After selling Marvel to Disney in 2009, he remained the head of Marvel Studios until 2015, when Feige got his position. He stayed on as a chairman at Marvel Entertainment, his role largely diminished until he was let go this week.
Now let’s dive straight into what went wrong in Perlmutter’s long career at Marvel. Up till 2015, the company head was heavily involved with the creative side at the MCU. But after he tried to have Feige fired, which Bob Iger personally put a stop to, Feige’s role was uplifted, and he would no longer report to Ike, but directly present to the senior executives.
And even when Feige took the reins at Marvel films, Perlmutter tried to stop the company from dipping into diverse films like Black Panther & Captain Marvel, which went on to earn over a billion. His intrusion only stopped when Iger had to pull rank once again and bluntly ask Ike to stop “putting up roadblocks.”
His lack of belief in diversity during Black Panther & Captain Marvel wasn’t the first time he’d made that problematic choice.
Though it remains unconfirmed, a report from the early days of the MCU claims the Marvel exec didn’t think people would notice when Don Cheadle replaced Terrence Howard in Iron Man 2 as Col. Rhodes since all black people “look the same.” Yikes.
Bob Iger’s elimination of high-level execs may have started due to scaling back costs to bring the company back to profitability, but he is slowly clearing Marvel’s path back to its previous glory by ridding it of its thorny handlers.
His decision to keep Feige at the head of Marvel Studios has proved to be good, and thus we can trust that these firings are for the better. More changes will come soon; we’ll just have to wait and see how it affects Marvel and the MCU.