Captain America: Civil War is currently storming the box office charts around the world, with estimates putting it in the hundreds of millions for it’s opening weekend in the US. It’s been revealed, however, that the success of this movie and many of Marvel Studios’ previous box office successes might never have happened as two of the key Avengers cast were due to be sold off to other film studios before the inception of the MCU.
According to David Maisel, former President of Marvel Studios, both Captain America and Thor were due to be licenced to Warner Bros. and Sony, respectively.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about the birth and evolution of the company, the expansive ‘tell-all’ style interview also includes some interesting claims about the current executives at Marvel Studios.
“The best description of me — I got it from my mom — is if you mix Peter Pan with Tony Stark,” said Maisel. “I don’t have Tony’s wealth, but I do have his love of intellect. Tony enjoys his life and Tony is single. I have more naiveté. I don’t try to own a room the way Tony Stark would. But there’s a lot about Tony Stark that was me.”
Maisel worked at Marvel from 2003 until 2009, becoming Marvel Studios’ founding President/Chairman in 2007. He is listed as an executive producer on Marvel’s first five Marvel films, but argues that his contributions to Marvel, which he claims include the development of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the company’s acquisition by Disney, are substantially overlooked.
Marvel Studios’ current head, Kevin Feige, is described in the interview as “a relatively junior executive giving script notes to studios,” during the studio’s formative financing deal, with Maisel describing himself as his boss.
One of the most interesting claims to come out of the interview is that there was a deal in the works, prior to Iron Man, for Warner Bros. to buy the movie rights to Captain America, and Sony to pick up the rights to Thor after its success with the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films.
“If I had gotten there three months, six months later, those deals would have been done,” he says. “And there would be no chance to bring all these characters together.”
Marvel Studios have yet to make any official comment regarding the interview and the accusations made by Maisel.