Black Panther And Captain Marvel Almost Never Got Made

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It’s easy to claim credit for films once they’re proven to be hugely successful, but the historical record suggests Disney CEO Bob Iger is right to emphasize his role in the triumph of Black Panther and Captain Marvel. As Iger explains in his new memoir (The Ride of a Lifetime), both films faced some resistance from Marvel Entertainment despite the enthusiasm of Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. In the interest of diversity, Iger fought hard for these projects, but they didn’t make their way to the screen until after Marvel Studios and Marvel Entertainment separated in 2015.

In the case of Black Panther, Marvel Entertainment feared a poor international box office performance because of the film’s protagonist of colour, but Iger was adamant in his dismissal of this theory. “I’ve been in the business long enough to have heard every old argument in the book, and I’ve learned that old arguments are just that: old, and out of step with where the world is and where it should be,” he wrote in his book. “We had a chance to make a great movie and to showcase an underrepresented segment of America, and those goals were not mutually exclusive. I called [Marvel Entertainment’s] Ike [Perlmutter] and told him to tell his team to stop putting up roadblocks and ordered that we put both Black Panther and Captain Marvel into production.”

For a reminder of how these blockbusters turned out, check out the trailers below.