Kevin Feige is without a doubt one of the most powerful, influential and important figures in modern Hollywood, which is an incredible achievement for someone that’s still only 48 years old, but has still managed to create, develop, oversee and masterminded the most lucrative brand in the history of cinema.
His rise to the top was as rapid as it was fortunate, with the young Feige getting his start in the industry as an assistant to producer Laura Shuler Donner. Impressed with his in-depth knowledge of Marvel Comics lore, her husband and legendary filmmaker Richard appointed him as an associate producer on Bryan Singer’s X-Men, with Avi Arad naming him as his right hand at Marvel Studios later that year.
After working on several Marvel projects including Ang Lee’s Hulk, The Punisher, VOD bomb Man-Thing and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man franchise, Feige realized that Marvel still had the rights to many top tier characters they hadn’t licensed out, and once he assumed control of the studio in 2007, he put his plans in motion.
Nobody’s ever experienced the same level of box office success as Feige’s outfit, making him one of the defining behind the scenes presences of a generation. However, the company’s Chief Creative Officer revealed the lesson he learned during his early days in the business that he still adheres to almost two decades later.
“You know, it doesn’t feel that different to me. I know the landscape is different, but being on the inside of it, I was there mainly watching and learning on those early Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies. And I watched and learned from a group of people that were trying to exceed expectations, and trying to fulfill their own childhood dreams and the childhood dreams of fans of the characters. And that’s what we’ve done on every single film and TV series since then. So in that regard, it’s exactly the same.”
At the end of the day, Feige is and always has been a fan first an foremost, even if he’s in the rare position where he gets to relive the memories of smashing his childhood action figures together on the largest canvas imaginable.