Kevin Feige isn’t a household name, and that’s a real shame.
Given our obsession with all things super heroic, Feige deserves to be mentioned alongside the likes of Johansson, Ruffalo and Downey, Jr.
Feige is the mastermind behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s only the most popular franchise in modern times, and for good reason. Think “Black Panther,” the “Avengers” series, “Doctor Strange,” “Iron Man,” “Captain America: Winter Soldier” and many other hits.
Feige is pulling the MCU strings, and so far he’s done a masterful job. Most critics and fans would agree. Even a mediocrity like “Captain Marvel” is crushing the box office. In a few weeks, “Avengers: Endgame” may dwarf those statistics.
There’s still an important shift happening at Feige’s MCU, and it appears the man himself is cheering it on.
Last year’s “Black Panther” became the franchise’s most politicized offering. The recent “Captain Marvel” teems with woke nods, from the clumsy empowerment themes to the feminist asides.
Is that trend just beginning?
Feige describes Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel character as the key figure in the next MCU wave.
When we found out that Brie Larson might be interested in joining our world, we had a number of meetings. She was a huge fan of the character in the comics. One of the highlights of my career at Marvel was introducing her at Comic-Con and having her come out on stage and stand there with literally almost everybody else from our movies. There she was at the forefront, and it was a great foreshadowing – not just for how audiences are going to embrace Brie as this character, but also for how Captain Marvel is about to take the lead and be at the forefront of the entire Cinematic Universe.
And the MCU’s least charismatic figure shall lead them? Or is it the franchise’s most woke Avenger that matters most here?
Feige’s recent comments regarding Captain America himself, Chris Evans, suggests it’s the latter. The Hollywood Reporter served up a glowing Evans profile, complete with the requisite fawning of his progressive views. That’s standard operating procedure for biased Hollywood press.
That’s not all we learned from the profile, though.
FAST FACT: “Avengers: Infinity War” earned $678 million at the U.S. box office, which translates into 2018’s second most popular film behind “Black Panther” with $700 million.
The article finds Evans revealing Feige’s reaction to the star’s woke Twitter account. Sometimes Evans shares updates that are unabashedly cool.
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) March 22, 2019
He even served up a very rare blast of bipartisan good cheer:
A VERY cool use of vibranium https://t.co/zv5L9hqqTl
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) March 9, 2019
Other times? He’s endlessly attacking President Donald Trump, which could alienate some MCU fans. Far worse? He recently bashed the Covington high school students who were maliciously attacked by the corrupt press.
Chris Evans, the actor from “The Avengers” has still not deleted and apologized for spreading fake news about the Covington Boys to his 10.4 million followers. #VerifiedBully pic.twitter.com/l2loMdAOPt
— ✌️Aisha✌️ (@OliKAG2020) January 22, 2019
Is Feige worried about the latter messaging? We’re living at a time when a single Tweet can end a career. Just ask Roseanne Barr.
Apparently not, says Evans.
“Marvel has never said anything. On the contrary — when I bump into Kevin Feige the first thing out of his mouth is ‘Man, I love what you’re doing [on Twitter].'”
Ironically, Barr’s bosses at ABC begged her to stop tweeting prior to her infamous, racially charged Tweet against Valerie Jarrett.
Feige himself doubled down on Evans’ account.
“I don’t see it as trash-talking,” says Feige, Marvel’s president. “I see it as very astute, very honorable, very noble, very Cap-like. Commentary and questioning. I’ve said to him, ‘You’re merging! You and the character are merging!'”
It’s doubtful Captain America would trash innocent teens, for what it’s worth.
Regardless, will Feige’s boosterism translate into a woke MCU phase with the far-left Larson leading the way? Has this massive series been building to that all along? Will Disney weaponing the biggest pop culture weapon in its arsenal? If so, could it eventually damage the brand and its economic might?
It’s unlikely we’ll see anything of the kind during “Avengers: Endgame” despite its monumental running time (Three hours!).
Beyond that, if Feige continues to pull the MCU levers, it’s likely the apolitical franchise’s days are numbered.