This person needs no introduction, so therefore, only naturally, here’s an introduction. Born in Boston, but hailing from Westerfield, New Jersey, the individual to which I bring you has accomplished incredible feats not even Thor is worthy of. He once was rejected to the University of California School of Cinematic Arts. So he re-applied. Then he was rejected again, and again, and again, and again. Do the math, that’s 5x told get the fuck away, only to get it on the 6th try. The real life walking 6 God if you ask me. Stan Lee thanks him for bringing all of his creations to life. He is the multi-billion (with a B) $$$$$ man. Ladies and gentlemen, chickens, ducks, athlete people, and twerkers, I present to you (the unauthorized biography) of one producer, The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) President, Kevin Feige.
You don’t need to be a comic book or MCU fan to appreciate this. Greatness goes beyond genre. So please lend me your eyes and fingers for 1000 words.
But 1st, who am I? What makes me qualified to do this, beside the fact my writings are just a step above the Epic of Gilgamesh and just a step below the red letters in an ancient text. Yea, I know…….I made it rhyme, baby.
I live by the words of one Asheru: I am the stone that the builder refused/I am the visual, the inspiration/That made Lady sing the blues/I’m the spark that makes your idea bright/The same spark that lights the dark/So that you can know your left from your right/I am the ballot in your box, the bullet in the gun/The inner glow that lets you know to call your brother son/The story that just begun, the promise of what’s to come/And I’mma remain a soldier till the war is won.
And I’m not a biter, I’m a writer for myself and others. I type a big paragraph, I’m only biggin’ up my brother. Biggin’ up my city, I’m big enough to do. I’m that thorough, plus my own pen is foolish…..wait, hold up, what??????
Let’s get it.
We’ve seen it all before. Kids taking up the mantle of the family professions. “My granddaddy and my father were military, that’s why I joined the service. “My grandmother and momma were both teachers, that’s why I’m an educator. Or my favorite: “My grandparents were both real estate developers and my father was Billy MacFarland. I hope I don’t end up being a POS like him.”
Kevin’s grandfather, Robert E. Short, was, as you guessed, a television producer. His work is little known, unfortunately. “The Guiding Light” & “As The World Turns” are a few of the small time soap operas Rob worked on. Even won an Emmy, as non-prestigous as that is.
So with that in his DNA, Kevin grew up a huge fan of movies and television. Notice I did not say comics, because Mr. Feige himself admits to being a bigger fan of the comics on the screens than the source material. (Let’s come back to that later). Like any American child growing up in the 70s & 80s, Star Wars & Indiana Jones were his favorites. Tim Burton’s Batman and Rich Donner’s Superman are also on his list. You know what, I think I like this guy. I should write an article on him.
So remember when I said Kev was rejected to USC 5x? Our man thought after the 5th time, maybe another major was in order. Lucky for humanity, he applied a 6th time during his senior year in high school and finally was accepted. Thank God, Krishna, Ra, The Virgin Mary, Zeus, and of course, The One Above All, that Feige got into Cinematic school. It was here that Feige earned his first internship in Hollywood, working for Director Richard Donner (!) (Oh and he produced The Omen, The Lethal Weapon Series, and The Goonies. He also had a very interesting take on superhero movies. Let’s get back to that as well.) and his wife Lauren Shuler Donner, the producer of many films (St. Elmo’s Fire, Mr. Mom, Pretty In Pink, Any Given Sunday, Free Willy, yea nothing major). She is also the producer of the X-Men & Deadpool franchises. Oh shit, now I’m connecting dots, ya!!!
So working as an intern for these two legends, Kev had to be working on projects right outta the gate….or maybe he was washing cars, grabbing lunch for the bosses, and walking dogs for the Donners?????
Let me pause on the article and speak some real shit. Everyone only sees top individuals sitting on the peak of the mountain. No one sees the work behind the scenes. People love to think nothing earned made certain people successful, only opportunity given that others did not have access to. While that is true for many other life paths, you will not see me write up on silver spoons from birth. It takes dedication and doing things you do not want to do, to get to where you want to go. Sweat, blood, tears. You want your grandchildren to have something that they can build on from the cinderblocks you can lay down? Learn to make the cinderblocks first. Feige walking dogs was the metaphor I just mention. I wish you all success in your life’s work, but dammit, work is what it’s gonna take. Unpaused.
Kev choose to work closely with Lauren over Rich. Our man was working so much, he didn’t even attend his USC graduation. Besides being errand boy, he did do alot of other personal stuff with Lauren. Going to movie sets, making connections, and overall, the way into movies, baby. Sticking with his mentor, she gave him his 1st big break: Working on the 1st X-Men movie, which dropped in 2000. Producer Avi Arad also has credits on the same X-Men movie.
Easy baby, I’ll explain who he is in this origin article.
Avi Arad, IDF and Six-Day War veteran, came to America in 1970. I could write a bunch of other stuff about him, but let’s get to the good.
Avi, through his business dealings, became the co-owner Toy Biz. Now, in 1996, Toy Biz did something that would change the movie landscape forever…..he bought Marvel Comics, bringing them out of bankruptcy.
This isn’t a business article, and there’s alot of deals I’m glossing over. Here’s a link for more behind the scenes stuff, because the characters and studio property moving around is pretty complicated and this article is already getting long AF.
Upon meeting Kevin Feige while they worked together on the 2000 X-Men movie, Avi was so impressed with Kevin’s knowledge of movie production, that he offered him the role of producer at the newly minted Marvel Films (Not Marvel Studios). The friendship remains strong to this day….
Actually, it doesn’t. Word around is that the beef is real. More word: Avi didn’t want independent heroes teaming up in movies, but Feige did. So basically, Avi didn’t want an Engame movie to see the light of day. He left the MCU before it was the MCU. Check it, he has credits on the 1st Ironman and Hulk, but he outta here like the AAF. And with that said, let’s get back to Feige.
Oh, there was another guy I have to mention as well. David Maisel. In 2003, David went to Ari about getting funding from Merrill-Lynch to create MARVEL STUDIOS!!!!!! Got damn, I’ve been itching to write that. Ok moving on, they got $525m to fund themselves. David Maisel deserves all of our thanks. He also worked the deal to sell Marvel Studios to Disney for $4 Billion with a B in 2009. Check the Age Of Ultron credits, the Marvel Studios Chairman gets a special thanks from Disney, because why the fuck wouldn’t he?
Now finally, I can get back to the Marvel Studios President. After Avi got butt hurt over the direction of Marvel and left in 2007, Kevin Feige became the Head of State, at age 33. 33, that’s crazy. I should be the head of BNY Podcast, LLC by 33…..Aight but to me, in my personal opinion, this could be and may be should have been looked at as a bad hire at the time. Let’s go over some of his movie credits from 2000-2007:
2003 Daredevil, 2003 Hulk, 2004 The Punisher, 2004 Blade: Trinity, 2005 Elektra, jesus christ, both of the 2000’s Fantastic 4 movies (OMG), I have to continue, but it hurts, 2006 X-Men: The Last Stand and 2007 Spiderman 3.
I mean, the man was an executive producer on alot of these terrible superhero flicks. A lot of those movies are straight up unwatchable. But, the man was making cindeblocks for the MCU through all of this (came back to my metaphor from earlier). Experience is the best teacher, as well all know. Kev would find his way soon.
So, in 2008, what was the very 1st MCU film launched?
Ironman. Great movie, extremely successful, and the birth of a multi-billion $$$$ studio.
I still want an apology for Thor 2 though.
The rest of his story is much easier to follow and still currently going strong. No need to write on it, just watch his MCU movies. Anyways, I think we can take alot from the man’s life story that we can apply to ourselves:
1. Never quit on yourself; keep going at all means.
2. Play your role, until your time comes. Learn to grow within yourself to become a better version.
3. Align yourself with like minds with a like minded work ethic. No need for 10 people teams if only a few are putting the work in. Trim the fat.
4. Failure will still happen in some form. Learn from your mistakes, and make your next steps better.
5. Be Kevin Feige.
6. Ignore 5.
7. Recognize new talent to work with you, like Kev did with the Russo Bros.
8. Be you and do what you love.
My name is Ricky Louis Jr., and this is the unauthorized biography of the life and times of K. Feige.