Last month, Businessweek published a cover story about Marvel President Kevin Feige entitled The Man who Saved Marvel. Apparently though, the story seems to be inaccurate and has producer Avi Arad highly upset. Specifically the following part...
Finally, Marvel decided to create its own studio. In 2005 it put up as collateral the film rights to characters it still controlled, such as Captain America and Nick Fury, and got $525 million in financing from Merrill Lynch. Arad, who had doubts about the strategy, resigned the following year. Feige was named studio chief in 2007.
Avi Arad sent the following email to Businessweek staff writer Devin Leonard as a response. The email comes to us via French film site Daily Mars run by documentary filmmaker Philippe Guedj who directed the recent French documentary about Marvel called Marvel Renaissance. Avi Arad appeared in the documentary and has granted permission to publish the email. Check it out.
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.
Wow. Lots of new information in that email. I never knew Universal had a chance to distribute the Phase 1 slate that ultimately Paramount ended up distributing. Could the man that saved Marvel actually be Avi Arad? Could Feige be taking all the credit for something he actually didn't do or does it sound like sour grapes from Arad? I'm willing to give Arad the benefit of the doubt because Marvel has a history of being super controlling with the press. I speak from personal experience which you could read here. What do you guys think? Chime in below and tell us your thoughts.
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SOURCE: Daily Mars