A couple of weeks ago BusinessWeek writer Devin Leonard wrote an article entitled The Man Who Saved Marvel, heaping praise on Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, the mastermind behind the hugely successful Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is currently the second-biggest movie franchise of all time (and closing fast on Harry Potter).
Well, it seems that former Marvel Studios Chairman and CEO Avi Arad (producer of The Amazing Spider-Man 2) has taken exception to what he describes as false reporting on BusinessWeek’s part, releasing an email to Leonard through French site Daily Mars where he looks to set the record straight about his departure from Marvel Studios and his part in establishing the MCU, stating that he “single-handedly” putting together the Marvel movie slate…
Good morning Devin. As usual you manage to disappoint me with your false statements. I am sure you were told by Marvel that I resigned over the self-financing strategy. It is about time for a reporter like you to do your homework and check the facts. It will sound arrogant to you, but I single handedly put together the Marvel slate. Read it carefully and you will notice the natural progression of the character’s design to get to where we are today.
You should reach out to Merill Lynch and Ambac Insurance and to our international partners that came on board based on my track record. Our financial partners counted on my reputation. I had to work very hard to convert the doubters. They trusted me and without Iron Man this article would have not been written. Iron Man was not even in the original slate. I knew that we needed it so I set out to get it back from Newline and the rest is history.
Our financing would have never happened without me reaching out to Brad Grey to make a distribution deal that will give you a corporate guarantee. Other people in Marvel worked for many months with Universal and could not reach a deal. I got tired of waiting and went to Brad. The deal was done in days, successful for both companies. The big presentation to financial institutions and insurance companies took place on the Paramount lot. I was the presenter and it worked. Does this sound to you like someone who disagreed with the strategy to make our own movies?
I have forgiven Kevin for following orders and taking the credit, but he had no choice. Shame on you for kowtowing to your business gods. I have given up on journalistic integrity. You called me to talk about Kevin and I gave you the most true and glowing account on someone that I love and respect. Share your notes otherwise you just wasted my time. I will share this letter with other papers and your management to demonstrate the unprofessional self-serving work this reporter demonstrated.
Of course, we don’t really know what’s gone on behind-the-scenes here, but there’s a big difference between pushing for an Iron Man movie and actually overseeing the creation and development one of the most successful franchises in Hollywood.