Since I’d spoken about the latest Marvel movies a short time ago, here’s quite an eyebrow-raiser of a report from SlashFilm (via Punch Drunk Critics) about a controversy over how to develop the screenplay for Captain America: Civil War in the early 2010s, and the writing committee behind this whole hubbub, which was formed by so-called conservative businessman Isaac Perlmutter:
Back in 2015, we heard Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige almost walked away from the company due to ongoing disagreements with the Marvel Creative Committee about “Captain America: Civil War.” This group situated at the Marvel Entertainment offices in New York consisted of Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter, president Alan Fine, Marvel Comics writer Brian Michael Bendis, Marvel Comics publisher Dan Buckley, and Marvel Entertainment CCO Joe Quesada, and they were constantly meddling in the affairs of Marvel Studios with terrible notes and worse ideas. At the time, all we heard was talk about the brass in New York wanting to scale down “Captain America: Civil War,” but it was actually much worse than that.
It’s actually rather surprising, if one knows what the original company wide crossover Civil War from 2006 was like: a politically motivated storyline – apparently intended as an attack on the Patriot Act – where Iron Man and Captain America, among other superheroes, did clash as part of rival factions over political disagreements. There may have been times in decades past where the heroes did slam away at each other, including Ben Grimm duking it out with the Hulk, for example, but those were far from political, and differences were usually resolved soon enough. So why did they ever think a movie building on such a repellent crossover – which served as a lead-in to Spider-Man’s One More Day and the dissolving of the Spider-marriage – would be a great idea? I know this: I’m hugely disappointed at many of the moviegoers who went to see the movie several years back, many of whom I’m sure never bought and read superhero comics at all.
The clash between Marvel Studios and the Marvel Creative Committee over “Captain America: Civil War” is chronicled in the new book “The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.” As the book explains, The Marvel Creative Committee had only become more demanding as the success of Marvel Studios continued, and they vehemently opposed the film’s final act where Captain America and Iron Man fought each other. You know, the whole point of having a Civil War in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s when things really got ugly.
The Marvel Creative Committee, in all their infinite wisdom, didn’t want Captain America and Iron Man coming to blows. Instead, they wanted The Avengers to reunite to battle the super soldiers that Baron Zemo led them to in a secret Hydra facility in Siberia. “Captain America: Civil War” co-writer Stephen McFeely recalls, “We had to do a draft where they had a fight in a submarine base with five super soldiers.”
Directors Anthony & Joe Russo were not happy about this potential change to “Captain America: Civil War.” Joe Russo said, “We kept saying, “There’s nothing interesting about that film. We’re not here to make that movie. We’re not interested in telling another superhero story.'”
Kevin Feige found himself siding with the filmmakers. After years of playing nice and working as the go-between for the Marvel Creative Committee and the creatives at Marvel Studios, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back when it came to negotiating and compromising with the executives in New York. This time there would be no negotiating. […]
That sure is pretty weird the same people who went out of their way to put such an emphasis on heroes fighting each other far more than they did the villains (something DC also did at least a few times during the 2000s) would balk at duplicating the angle on the silver screen. Were they that ashamed of what an atrocity the original Civil War was, they didn’t want anybody to get any ideas by looking through the original, and recognizing it for the mess it was? I just don’t know. All I know is that Bendis, Quesada, and come to think of it, Buckley, were bad enough back then as it was, and the whole notion Perlmutter would consider them good company to keep is pretty telling. Some “conservative” he must be then, if he considered leftist ideologues who desecrated the original comics a perfect screenplay planning committee. I’m glad if they’re no longer on such a committee, but what’s come around since explains why this all remains a pure head-shaker of a case.
Since Feige became more in charge of the film franchise than Perlmutter, he’s gotten around to pushing the Marvel movies towards social justice propaganda, as discussed earlier. And if he wanted Cap and Shell-Head to butt heads in the movie from the mid-2010s, maybe he read the original Civil War, and loved the political angles so much, he did what fellow leftists Quesada, Buckley and Bendis were reluctant to turn into celluloid, by putting heroes into clashes with each other, regardless of whether on film, it was noticeably political.
One more reason why I’m glad I don’t go out of my way to see these movies of the past decade, and am not interested in lining the pockets of such greedy people with my hard earned money.
Originally published here.