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  1. #1
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    Default Avi Arad Responds to Feige Article, Takes Credit for Marvel Studios' Success

    According to an open letter from "Amazing Spider-Man 2" producer Avi Arad, he "single handedly put together the Marvel slate" and is responsible for the Studios' success.


    Full article here.

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    I kind of wish Arad handed the reins of the Spider-man franchise to somebody else.

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    Why can't he make the spider man movies more of a success then?
    Oh right, because he didn't write, cast or direct any of the movies.

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    For the record, the Spider-man film franchise has been very successful. Even the "mediocre/bad" ones have been financial hits. I could be wrong but when I look at the diminishing performance it feels like producer choices and interference is getting in the way of the overall quality of each individual film. In the long run, a consistent string of missteps will diminish the property value, until they can produce a quality product that will bolster consumer confidence.
    Last edited by Ceebiro; 05-05-2014 at 03:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alex View Post
    Why can't he make the spider man movies more of a success then?
    Oh right, because he didn't write, cast or direct any of the movies.
    Yeah, I don't want to sound like a jerk but the properties he's in charge of are not as good as the one's Feige is in charge of. He may have put Iron Man on the slate but that success was guided creatively and built on by other people.
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    It really just feels that Arad and Sony are just too focused on building a franchise rather than making good films, even though for a blockbuster film the latter will do a lot more to build a strong-performing franchise than pumping out as many films as fast as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PretenderNX01 View Post
    Yeah, I don't want to sound like a jerk but the properties he's in charge of are not as good as the one's Feige is in charge of. He may have put Iron Man on the slate but that success was guided creatively and built on by other people.
    Avi did a lot to get Marvel films where they are but it's obvious Fiege has been the real force behind their success. They wouldn't have happened without Avi's networking and persuading for the funding but the studio still could have failed after that if not for all the talent Fiege and other's brought to the table.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceebiro View Post
    For the record, the Spider-man film franchise has been very successful. Even the "mediocre/bad" ones have been financial hits. I could be wrong but when I look at the diminishing performance it feels like producer choices and interference is getting in the way of the overall quality of each individual film. In the long run, a consistent string of missteps will diminish the property value, until they can produce a quality product that will bolster consumer confidence.
    It has been but when you take a list of barely known "B" characters and have them compete and even beat an "A" lister (Spider-man) that people have known and loved in the box office then I think that says something about the studio and producers. Who would have thought 10 years ago that Captain America would make more money then Superman or get anywhere near a Spider-man movie. Fiege and co seem the obvious reason for the successes to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Planet View Post
    Avi did a lot to get Marvel films where they are but it's obvious Fiege has been the real force behind their success. They wouldn't have happened without Avi's networking and persuading for the funding but the studio still could have failed after that if not for all the talent Fiege and other's brought to the table.
    I think like most creative talent, he probably deserves more credit than he gets but not as much as he thinks he does

    He was one of the founders and that's pretty cool. But he had a choice and went with Fox/Sony and well...
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    A good producer is important. They decide which scripts to produce, and they're the one's who hire the director. There's a reason the Best Movie Oscar goes to the producers.

    That said, not all producers credited on a movie are equal. Also, movies are the most collaborative medium out there. If Arad really did help get early financing for Marvel Studios and if he rally did get the Iron Man film rights back from Newline, that's a big deal. Iron Man worked because he was a known property and was capable of making a fun light hearted film. He deserves a lot of credit for that.

    But there's a lot of other things that go on. Did he hire Favreau? Downey? What about the screen play? What about the long term plans for the other Avenger movies? Part of the reason Feige gets as much credit as he does is because has done those things on multiple movies. Like a good group editor at a comic book company, he's helped shape the tone and direction of multiple movies over several years with several actors, directors, and screen writers. He has a really consistent record. If Arad helped with those things, then he probably does deserve more credit that he gets. But he's not claiming to do the heavy lifting, he's claiming to have helped in the early stages. Which, while important. I don't think that diminishes Feige's importance at all.

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    Something about this just strikes me as bitter.

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    Lots of organizations go through transitions, some people are the best for a particular point in time, then another transition takes place.

    Looking at the "total" history of Marvel on film (and TV I guess), the pre-Avi Arad history is pretty horrible. As a kid I dug Howard the Duck, but obviously, it did not set the world on fire for Marvel heroes. Much props to Stan Lee the Godfather for being Marvel's ambassador and de facto Film/TV development producer since the company bought out DePatie/Freleng animation studios in the late 1970s-- that said, I don't know how much genuine clout Lee carried with potential investors/studios, or how hard he pushed (or felt he could push) for creative control of the litany of announced-but-most-never-made projects over the years, including, but not limited to:

    1989's Dolph Lundgren Punisher (straight to video, infamous for no skull icon)

    Starting in 1985, Cannon Films "Spider-Man" (never made), which became CarolCo's to develop, then a huge mess, until sorted out in court under Arad's leadership in 1999.

    A. Pyun's Captain America 1990 (straight to video, Italian Red Skull, but it did have a Deliverance mini-reunion with Ronny Cox and Ned Beatty)

    Roger Corman's Fantastic Four (1994, buried)

    Various other properties farmed out to assorted studios and production firms only to languish for years: Sub-Mariner, Blade, Black Panther, Power Man, Daredevil, X-Men/Wolverine.

    When Marvel was bought by New World Studios circa 1986 (not to be confused with New Line Cinema) there were a bunch of announcements but almost no actual product: The three Bixby/Ferrigno Incredible Hulk TV movies were kind of the only highlight of that era. Even Iron Man was announced.

    When Arad stepped in (apparently from the Toy Biz division), his influence, fairly or unfairly, helped pull Marvel out of a rut and seemingly played hardball with producers/studios to actually make the films that were licensed, and not just sit on them and be able to say "we're in development mode" for 10+ years, like that really means anything to fans.

    People can certainly debate the quality of the films that came out circa 1998 - 2007, but at least they finally came out and weren't just fan-fiction feature articles that we would see in Wizard, Comics Scene, Starlog and the like for years on end.

    The special effects on the Generation X TV pilot show are dated, but hey, it happened, scarcely four years after the comics had first come out.

    The first Blade movie gets little credit for kick-starting the "modern" era in superhero films (post-Schumacher's Batman & Robin).

    The first X-Men movie took it further with an ensemble based film. This was before Avengers, and even the Justice League has yet to come out.

    Daredevil, Ghost Rider and Fantastic Four continued the commercial momentum, wildly varying reviews notwithstanding.

    So Mr. Arad deserves credit for helping to steward Marvel into their self-owned studio. I think it's for the best that he has a reduced role now (technically an outside consultant for the Spider-Man franchise at Sony). I just don't respect that he has declared that almost anything that's not connected to the Lee/Ditko canon is heretical (i.e., Miles Morales, Miguel O'Hara, etc.) and therefore off the table for development.
    Last edited by Hypestyle; 05-05-2014 at 05:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fanboy View Post
    But there's a lot of other things that go on. Did he hire Favreau? Downey? What about the screen play? What about the long term plans for the other Avenger movies? Part of the reason Feige gets as much credit as he does is because has done those things on multiple movies. Like a good group editor at a comic book company, he's helped shape the tone and direction of multiple movies over several years with several actors, directors, and screen writers. He has a really consistent record. If Arad helped with those things, then he probably does deserve more credit that he gets. But he's not claiming to do the heavy lifting, he's claiming to have helped in the early stages. Which, while important. I don't think that diminishes Feige's importance at all.
    But he was responsible for hiring the people to do the heavy lifting and outlined how they should lift. Hell, Arad saved Marvel as a whole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alex View Post
    Why can't he make the spider man movies more of a success then?
    Oh right, because he didn't write, cast or direct any of the movies.
    The Spider-Man films have been a huge success. Let's look at a tale of the tape:
    Spider-Man 1: 821 million
    Spider-Man 2: 783 million
    Spider-Man 3: 890 million
    The Amazing Spider-Man: 752 million
    The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has made 368 million in less than a month internationally.

    And the first trilogy are third, fourth, fifth highest ranking superhero films of all time domestically. So Spider-Man in film has still been very successful.

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