A lot of people have played integral roles in helping the Marvel Cinematic Universe become so successful, but the figurehead of this superhero franchise is unquestionably Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. It was his idea for Marvel to put together a shared film universe populated with characters the comic book company hadn’t licensed out to other film studios, and 14 years after the franchise launched with Iron Man, it’s become a pop culture juggernaut. However, apparently there was a time when Feige almost left Marvel for DC, and a new report claims such a movie could still happen.
To provide some quick context, back in 2015, Marvel Studios was absorbed into Walt Disney Studios, meaning Kevin Feige would no longer report to Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter, but then-Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn. Prior to that though, during the MCU’s Phase 2 era, which stretched from Iron Man 3 to Ant-Man, Puck News’ Matthew Belloni (via ScreenRant) has shared that Feige grew so frustrated with the limitations that Perlmutter was placing on the franchise that he “talked pretty seriously” with Warner Bros. Pictures about making the jump to DC Films. While nothing came of those talks, following the Warner Bros./Discovery merger, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav could “make another run at Feige” to see if he’d like to lend his talents to the DC movies landscape.
It’s interesting to envision how the MCU and DCEU would look different had Kevin Feige decided to leave Marvel Studios during Phase 2. Granted, it’s likely that Marvel Studios would have been put under the Walt Disney Studios umbrella, so even if someone had taken over Feige’s position (like Louis D’Esposito), that person still would have been reporting to Alan Horn rather than Ike Perlmutter. Still, Feige was able to get movies like Black Panther and Captain Marvel off the ground, so if he’d departed, would they still have happened? Would the Infinity Saga still have concluded the way it did across Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame? There are so many ‘what if?’ possibilities to consider, which is fitting given that Marvel has an animated series exploring such concepts that can be seen with a Disney+ subscription.
On the other side of the coin, how would Kevin Feige running the early days of the DCEU have looked? During Marvel’s Phase 2 period, Man of Steel was the only DC movie released, but Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was being made and ultimately came out in March 2016. Feige would have overseen that massive crossover, but more importantly, he would have been able to guide the entire DCEU in a direction of his choosing. Perhaps under his vision, the theatrical cut of Justice League would have come together more effectively, and the DCEU would be capitalizing more on the ‘shared universe’ aspect nowadays rather than the more self-contained approach that’s been adopted.
As far as the chances of Kevin Feige hopping over to DC now if David Zaslav is indeed interested in courting him, while it’s not an impossible scenario, it does seem way less likely compared to back in the mid-2010s. In 2019, Feige was not only named president of Marvel Studios, but also the chief creative officer of Marvel Entertainment. In other words, he’s one of Marvel’s top dogs not just with the MCU, but across its comics and other media divisions. He’d be sacrificing a lot of power to set up shop over at DC. On the other hand, if Feige is starting to feel bored or restless at Marvel, shaking things up at DC might sound appealing to him.
For now, Kevin Feige shows no signs of leaving Marvel, but naturally we’ll let you know if he decides he does decide to start working on upcoming DC movies. In the meantime, there are plenty of upcoming Marvel movies and Marvel TV shows to look forward to that Feige helped put together.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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