Remember back when there were some internal struggles at Marvel? Ike Perlmutter became chairman of Marvel in 2001, then CEO of Marvel Comics in 2005 before ending up as CEO of Marvel Entertainment under Disney. He was famous for pushing back against some of the efforts of Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige to expand the diversity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Perlmutter was sidelined, had his role diminished, and eventually Bob Iger took the decision to split Marvel’s movie-making unit off from the rest of Marvel and bring it under Alan Horn and the Walt Disney Studios.

Marvel announced its “Diversity Phase” and the rest is box office history for all the wrong reasons.


As we frequently say here at Last Movie Outpost, for all the fine talk about “our people are our biggest asset” and “we put our customers at the heart of everything we do” there is only one thing in the entire corporate world that really matters – shareholders.

Well, bad news for Disney. One of their shareholders in particular is an ongoing thorn in their side and isn’t shy about saying what he really thinks.

That is activist investor Nelson Peltz. Peltz has been pushing for several years to take control of several seats on the Disney board. As Disney chalked up a string of box office failures, and the seemingly unstoppable MCU began to stutter, he became even more vocal in his criticism of the studio and its “woke” strategy.

He even turned his attention to the previously unassailable Kevin Feige at Marvel Studios. In a recent interview with The Financial Times he directly attacked the MCU’s direction:

“Why do I have to have a Marvel [movie] that’s all women? Not that I have anything against women, but why do I have to do that? Why can’t I have Marvels that are both? Why do I need an all-Black cast?… I’m not ready to say [Kevin Feige should be removed as president of Marvel Studios], but I question his record.”

In the same interview, Peltz said:

“People go to watch a movie or a show to be entertained. They don’t go to get a message.”

Disney’s annual shareholders meeting is just days away, on April 3rd. Peltz’s Trian Partners have been trying to build support among shareholders to vote Peltz and former Disney CFO Jay Rasulo onto the board. The even worse news for Disney – Former Marvel Entertainment chairman Perlmutter reportedly owns 78% of the shares that Peltz is maneuvering with.

In the article, Peltz says:

“I’m not trying to fire Bob Iger, I want to help him.”

Peltz’s Trian Partners issued a statement around the interview that said it supports  Bob Iger as a candidate for the board and as CEO, and they aim to replace certain Disney board members, not Iger himself. Trian then withheld its votes for Iger’s re-election.

This is like an episode of Succession. A power play is underway here. Let’s see where this goes.

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