At one point, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige didn’t have the full control and oversight of the film project as he does now. 

Marvel’s Ike Perlmutter and other executives sometimes overruled Feige on things like salaries and what projects they’d pursue. This came ahead during the making/release of 2012’s The Avengers as pointed by Bruce Banner/Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo while speaking to TheIndependent

Ruffalo revealed that Kevin warned him that he could be out of the studio if they didn’t start making female-led superhero films. Ike and others at Marvel would cite poor toy sales as contributing reason why they didn’t want to support solo movies like Black Widow and Ms. Marvel (later re-titled to Captain Marvel). 

RUFFALO: “When we did the first Avengers, [Marvel supremo] 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.”

 “They have to, though. This is the fucking world.”

With the billion-dollar success of Captain Marvel and the equally successful Wonder Woman movie from Patty Jenkins, you can see he was right. 

This internal drama is old news, of course, because it had boiled over years ago.

What ended up happening was that Disney CEO Bob Iger stepped in and removed Ike Perlmutter from the film division placing Kevin directly under Disney’s Alan Horn instead, who seemingly has been very supportive of his ideas. 

The female-led movies weren’t the only projects that Marvel had been sitting over the years, some also included solo movies featuring non-white superheroes such as Black Panther and Shang-Chi. 

It remains to be seen how successful Black Widow and Shang-Chi will be but both Black Panther and Captain Marvel have made over a billion dollars each proving that global audiences including American audiences are ready to embrace a multitude of different kinds of heroes and stories.

However, we’re seeing a large influx of female superheroes and they’re ramping-up the diverse leads as well. 

All you have to do is look at their upcoming release slate with Eternals featuring a diverse cast, an interracial couple played by Gemma Chan (Sersi) and Kit Harington (Black Knight) along with the first openly LGBTQ+ character with Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos.

There has been inference from Thor: Love & Thunder’s director Taika Waititi and actress Tessa Thompson that Valkyrie could be full-on LGTBQ+ in the new installment with Thompson suggesting at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 she’ll be seeking her “queen” in the film. 

Tessa teasing there could be a throuple between Valkyrie, Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel, and Thor. 

They’re also poised to introduce Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel to the Marvel Cinematic Universe via her own Disney+, a Pakistani-American teenager from New Jersey that is a practising Muslim. 

It’ll be interesting to see what happens when stuff like the X-Men opens the flood gates for hundreds if not thousands of mutant characters they can most certainly consider with even more representation. 


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