The influence that Marvel Studios maestro Kevin Feige has had on Hollywood is almost unfathomable. There’s an almost mythical quality to that reputation at this point. His name has become synonymous with vision, leadership, and the kind of unrelenting success that can turn a character as obscure as Ant-Man into a billion-dollar franchise. His accomplishments leading Marvel are so profound that his name has become a name – every major studio dreams of having their own Feige.
Warner Bros. Discovery is definitely looking for its own Feige. Anyone who’s watched the DCEU flounder over the past decade might have guessed as much, but a Variety report from earlier this year confirmed that CEO David Zaslav was looking for a “strategic and creative czar” to lead the DC Comics franchise to success. prosperity. In the aftermath of Batgirl’s cancellation and the hubbub surrounding HBO Max’s possible rebranding, Zaslav told investors that DC was working on a new 10-year plan. THR reported last week that the studio may even have found its Feige in LEGO movie producer Dan Lin.
The way we talk about “finding a Feige” almost sounds like a magic bullet. If only DC could find a leader with enough passion and expertise, then they could start kicking in blow after blow, just like Marvel. There is certainly some truth in that. The MCU is made up of a million moving parts, but without the foresight and long-term strategy of a single visionary, it’s highly unlikely that any studio will be able to replicate the success of the MCU. Of course, it’s unrealistic to think that just one person can right DC’s sinking ship, no matter how good a producer they are. Warner Bros. is not only looking for a leader, it is also looking for a new face. It needs a manager who can not only produce great movies, but also win back the trust and loyalty of a fanbase that views the company and its executives as villains.
A new Variety report this week claims that studio insiders at Warner Bros. regret publishing Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Rather than satiate Snyderverse fans, the Director’s Cut only made fans more irritated with the studio. This is not a surprising development. Snyderverse fans have been hostile to WB since the theatrical release of Justice League, which betrayed Snyder’s vision. Allegations of abuse and harassment made by Ray Fisher against Joss Whedon, which implicate both current and former DC Films executives Geoff Johns and Walter Hamada, have reinforced the narrative that Warner Bros. is not only incompetent, but corrupt and malicious. WB needs a fresh start on the big screen just as much as it does on social media. He needs a beloved figurehead like Feige.
Diehard Marvel fans revere Kevin Feige. You can see him every time he takes the stage at conventions like Comic-Con and D23. He gets more credit for the success of Marvel movies than the directors or stars do, and he’s not responsible for the franchise’s missteps. He is the face of the MCU and he is loved, and therefore the MCU is loved; The MCU is loved and therefore it is loved. That’s what Warner Bros. is looking for. Making better films will not be enough, we also have to change the identity of the company. It’s an incredible burden to put on a producer on top of reinventing a franchise, but it’s what WB needs.
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