One of the best things that ever happened to the Marvel Cinematic Universe took place behind the scenes, and it’s a development that mirrored the driving force of Captain America: Civil War, despite a lot of fans probably not even being aware of its existence.
During the formative years of the shared superhero series, Kevin Feige didn’t have the complete autonomy he has now, with the studio president having to answer to the infamous “Creative Committee”, a group of powerful executives that had the power to veto important decisions regarding the franchise’s short and long-term future.
Chief among them was Ike Perlmutter, who was eventually cast aside once Disney decided that the smartest and safest option on the table was to let Feige call the shots unobstructed. It’s not a coincidence that the MCU has taken bigger, braver, and bolder swings since then, with Civil War co-director Joe Russo admitting to Deadline that things became pretty fraught behind the scenes on the epic star-spangled threequel.
“This famously led to Civil War the movie actually leading to a civil war within Marvel, because there was a group in New York that was trying to impose a more traditional third act on the movie. My brother and I were going, ‘We’re not interested in making that film, so we’re out the door if that’s the direction you want to go. We’re more compelled to make a story about these two that’s more interesting, we think, and will lead to more interesting movies after this.’
It came very close to we were going to get fired, or New York was going to get off the movie. A bunch of conversations were had, and [then-Disney CEO] Bob Iger made a decision: he moved New York off the movie, Kevin took full control of Marvel Studios, and we got to make Civil War the way we wanted to make it. I think it empowered Kevin, and it empowered Disney, because they saw that we had done something crazy and it made over a billion dollars.”
Having acted as the chief driving force behind the MCU since its very inception, Feige clearly knows what he’s doing, so it would be an understatement to say that abolishing the creative committee turned out to be the right call in the end.