Disney CEO says that he is proud of his role behind the production of Black Panther
Bob Iger has been the CEO of The Walt Disney Company since 2005 and in these 15 years he has turned Disney into the most significant production house in the world of motion pictures. The Disney and Marvel collaboration in the past years has brought about a new era in blockbuster movie making and in […]
Bob Iger has been the CEO of The Walt Disney Company since 2005 and in these 15 years he has turned Disney into the most significant production house in the world of motion pictures. The Disney and Marvel collaboration in the past years has brought about a new era in blockbuster movie making and in his new memoir, The Ride of a Lifetime, Iger has shared some of his experiences from that period.
Iger has recalled the hurdles that he faced from Marvel Entertainment when he wanted to introduce more diverse characters like Black Panther and Captain Marvel in the MCU. He also mentions that his tussle with Marvel in bringing Black Panther to life is one of his proudest accomplishments through the years.
Iger mentioned that Marvel executives highlighted the historically low box office figures for movies coming from black creators and starring black actors as a reason not to pursue a superhero movie set in the fictional nation of Wakanda. But Iger spoke to Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter to remove all the roadblocks and put Black Panther as well as Captain Marvel on the path towards production.
“I’ve been in the business long enough to have heard every old argument in the book, and I’ve learned that old arguments are just that: old, and out of step with where the world is and where it should be,” he wrote in the book. “We had a chance to make a great movie and to showcase an underrepresented segment of America, and those goals were not mutually exclusive.”
His optimism was well rewarded when Black Panther grossed over $1 billion worldwide and won three Oscars after being nominated for seven. The superior work by the creative team including director Ryan Cooghler and stellar performances by Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright and Danai Gurira turned it into one of the most successful movies from the Marvel stable. It was also praised for showcasing a section of the society that does not find adequate representation in mainstream Hollywood movies.
“There may be no product we’ve created that I’m more proud of than ‘Black Panther,” Iger mentioned in his book. After its screening in January 2018, celebs Spike Lee, Denzel Washington, Gayle King and President Obama were among the many people who reached out to him.
With both Black Panther 2 and Captain Marvel 2 being confirmed for Phase Four of the MCU, Marvel studios has decided to focus on bringing in more diversity in its characters in line with Iger’s vision.