Marvel's Kevin Feige Almost Quit Over Lack of Diversity at Marvel Studios

Kevin Feige almost quit his job at Marvel Studios while producing 2012's The Avengers due to Marvel's refusal to diversify cast representation in their budding cinematic universe.

Mark Ruffalo revealed in an interview with The Independent that Feige did not believe he would be at Marvel for very long.

"When we did the first Avengers, Kevin Feige told me, 'Listen, I might not be here tomorrow'," he said. "And he's like, 'Ike does not believe that anyone will go to a female-starring superhero movie. So if I am still here tomorrow, you will know that I won that battle.'"

Ike Perlmutter is the former CEO and current chairman of Marvel Entertainment. Perlmutter's influence on the company, particularly on the film side has been greatly reduced in recent years as Feige continues to gain influence. In the early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Perlmutter would advise against female-led superhero films.

CEO of Disney, Bob Iger explained the roadblocks presented on the journey to diversity and representation at Marvel in the book 'The Ride of a Lifetime'. According to Variety, Iger wrote the following:

"We had a chance to make a great movie and to showcase an underrepresented segment of America, and those goals were not mutually exclusive," Iger wrote. "I called Ike and told him to tell his team to stop putting up roadblocks and ordered that we put both 'Black Panther' and 'Captain Marvel' into production."

When Feige's wishes won out over Perlmutter. In the Independent, Ruffalo called the moment a "turning point" for Marvel.

"Kevin wanted black superheroes, women superheroes, LGBT superheroes," Ruffalo added. "He changed the whole Marvel universe. We now have a gay superhero on the way, we have black superheroes, we have female superheroes – Scarlett Johansson has her movie coming out, we have Captain Marvel, they are doing She-Hulk next."

Kevin Feige
Kevin Feige attends the 23rd Annual Hollywood Film Awards Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Feige is currently hard at work spearheading Marvel Studios' Phase 4, which includes the push to Disney+. The platform will be home to many diverse heroes that represent a wide array of cultures like Miss Marvel, She-Hulk and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.