Why Marvel Took So Long to Make Black Panther and Captain Marvel

Saturday, 17 September 2016 - 4:24PM
Marvel
Black Panther
Captain Marvel
Saturday, 17 September 2016 - 4:24PM
Why Marvel Took So Long to Make Black Panther and Captain Marvel
Today at Long Beach Comic Con, several heavy hitters from Marvel Comics and/or Marvel Studios took the stage for the "Marvel-ous Universe" panel, including Captain America writer Nick Spencer, artist and designer Andy Park, Agent Carter writer Brandon Easton, and Craig Kyle, who produced Thor and created X-23. In the panel, they discussed the financial and political reasons diverse superheroes took so long to make it to the big screen, and alluded to some behind-the-scenes drama along the way.

When asked by a fan about the delay in spotlighting women and POC in their superhero movies, Easton said that the studio is "first and foremost a business," and that the process is much more political than most fans would expect. 

Opening quote
"There are things that go on behind the scenes, political and financial, which are ultimately the same thing, that the average consumer knows nothing about," he said.
Closing quote

While he didn't expand too much on these goings-on, Kyle dropped a few more hints about the long-gestating process of bringing Black Panther and Captain Marvel to the big screen. He said that the team of producers, including Kevin Feige, has wanted these movies to be made for a long time, but higher-ups were standing in the way.

Opening quote
"We had a lot of plans on the hopper… We had Black Panther, which we're doing now, other projects that I can't mention… We want to make those movies, but we answered to people who have different ideas. Even Kevin Feige answered to people who had different ideas at the time. But after ten years, we finally scraped them off our boots, and now you're seeing those movies, you're seeing Captain Marvel. Those fights have had rooms for a long time."
Closing quote

While he didn't name any names, we can probably infer that he's talking about Ike Perlmutter, the CEO of Marvel. While he is famously reclusive (to the point that there was a bonafide conspiracy to steal his DNA), there have been persistent rumors that his politics are very conservative and that he is not particularly interested in social justice. When making Iron Man 2, for example, Perlmutter reportedly supported the decision to replace Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle because black people "look the same."

While Perlmutter is still technically the CEO, the company—particularly the features side of things—was restructured last year so that Kevin Feige no longer reported directly to him. Around that time, more diverse properties started to be greenlit. While no one's naming any names, it seems like there are enough clues to connect the dots.
Science Fiction
Comic Book Movies
Marvel
Black Panther
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