Magazine article Variety

Marvel Man Defied Comic Naysayers

Magazine article Variety

Marvel Man Defied Comic Naysayers

Article excerpt

Given its impact on Hollywood movie-making, it's hard to believe that the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe debuted just over a decade ago, reviving "Iron Man" star Robert Downey Jr.'s career in the process. But Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who will receive the PGA's David O. Selznick award for his industry-changing body of work, still vividly remembers the days when pundits and industry experts questioned the future of a business plan focusing exclusively on superhero-driven entertainment.

"Not only has there not been the quote-unquote superhero fatigue that people have been asking me about since years before 'Iron Man,' but here we are having our biggest year ever," Feige tells Variety. "Our instincts have always guided us, and the successes have always just encouraged us to keep following those instincts."

2018 was the studio's biggest year ever, thanks to "Black Panther" and "Avengers: Infinity War," top grossers whose combined haul earned the company almost $3.5 billion and counting. Feige credits this recent success to both careful planning and anticipating the appetites of an increasingly diverse worldwide audience. "We knew that giving people who hadn't had the chance to, A, make these kinds of films or, B, see themselves up on that screen reflecting these kinds of films was important, and was the future," Feige says. "And look what happens when people have stories to tell and they don't always get to tell those stories? Give them the budget, give them the canvas, and they'll paint something amazing. …

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