There’s trouble in the air at Disney, and we’ve been told that since Bob Iger left, a rift between Kevin Feige and Bob Chapek has begun.
Kevin Feige has made a lot of money for the House of Mouse and he has a solid vision when it comes to franchises.
Obviously, it’s best to keep him happy and let him do his thing.
Case in point: Remember when Bob Iger got Ike Perlmutter out of Kevin Feige’s way?
But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Before we get into that, I think it’s good to give a little bit of background into what’s happening over at Disney.
A (brief) history of Bob Iger’s Disney
They are currently going through a transition.
Disney is transitioning from the Bob Iger era into the Bob Chapek era, and it seems as though that transition isn’t going smoothly.
Honestly, all transitions within a company are tough, but it’s especially hard for a colossal company like Disney.
This transition is made even harder by the fact that Bob Iger is the main reason Disney is where it is today.
He was the person who oversaw Disney’s most profitable era in history.
They’ve literally never been as huge as they are today.
He’s the man who oversaw Disney’s acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm.
These are now the three biggest franchises in Hollywood, and Disney owns them all.
Disney owns the MCU, the Star Wars franchise and the Pixar films.
And this is even before any of Disney’s movies come into the picture, such as the live-action remakes they’ve been doing recently.
The Lion King, the Aladdin movie, The Jungle Book, Cinderella and Beauty And The Beast.
These films might not be your cup of tea, but they made a lot of money at the box office.
One of Bob Iger’s key ideas in getting Disney to where it is today was to put the creatives first.
Bob Iger’s Disney was all about putting the creatives first
Iger was all about removing any unnecessary levels of bureaucracy for them, and just let them make the best movies and TV shows they could make.
For instance, one thing he did with Marvel Studios, which is, I believe, one of the main reasons the MCU is the powerhouse it is today, was to get rid of Ike Perlmutter.
He then put Kevin Feige in charge of Marvel Studios, and the rest, as they say, is history.
OK, so now that I’ve basically given you a history lesson on the Bob Iger era at Disney.
It’s time to talk about the future, and what’s going on inside the House Of Mouse right this second.
Bob Iger was to stay on for a while as the company’s executive chairman.
However, on December 31st, 2021, Iger will leave Disney for good and go into retirement.
At first, it was all smiles and the Bobs couldn’t stop complimenting one another.
However, over the past few months, the relationship between the two of them has become strained.
We’ve been informed that it’s almost at breaking point.
Bob Chapek’s Disney era is not off to a good start
Why, you ask? Because the two Bobs have very different views on how the company should progress.
As I explained earlier, Iger is all about letting the creatives lead.
However, Chapek comes from the world of marketing.
Before accepting the CEO role, Chapek was in charge of the Disneyland parks, and he’s looking to bring his experience in that area into the way he runs the company moving forward.
Chapek’s been at Disney for 27 years and was most recently chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
Well, according to a source close to Disney:
“It’s merch and parks first, content second.”
“The finance guys are running the show! Chapek is doing a lot of restructuring here.”
My source then went on to explain that it’s “all ‘what can we sell’ and [the new leadership] doesn’t care about the content.”
They then went on to detail how people inside Disney and Disney Plus have been having to, as they put it, “handle angry filmmakers and producers who’ve had their movies and TV shows cancelled, or in the films’ case, put straight onto D+ [Disney Plus].”
Kevin Feige vs. Bob Chapek: Is The MCU in danger?
However, it gets worse, because one of the creatives who’s part of Disney that has been butting heads with Chapek and the new direction he’s taking the company is none other than Marvel President, Kevin Feige.
Our source explained: “Bob Chapek and Kevin Feige are not getting along.”
Are Kevin Feige and Bob Chapek butting heads?
They then added that people at Pixar are also angry and confused by the leadership’s recent decisions such as putting all their new films straight onto Disney Plus.
“All their movies have been released on D+ [Disney Plus] and they want them in cinemas,” our source detailed.
Pixar has a right to be upset. Soul had been released straight onto Disney Plus, and they’ve just announced that Pixar’s next film, Luca will also be released on Disney Plus and not in cinemas.
So, it seems as though Chapek is putting his people in charge of key areas, people who’ve had no experience in making movies.
This has been noticed by the likes of Kevin Feige and the people at Pixar, and they don’t like it.
It certainly seems the Kevin Feige and Bob Chapek situation echoes the past Perlmutter fiasco.
Disney is now putting finance people in charge and it looks like they are adopting a ‘merchandise first, content last’ approach.
Chapek’s Disney is merch first, content last
I mean, what else can you expect from the person who’s been running the Disneyland parks for 27 years.
I did think it was a strange appointment to begin with.
Iger understood that it was all about the content.
For him, he would just let the marketing people do their jobs and sell their movies and make as much money out of them as possible.
However, Iger never put those marketing people, and the finance people in charge of making their movies.
Well, this is Chapek’s approach and it’s causing chaos inside the walls of the House Of Mouse.
Our source finished off by telling us that, “Chapek and Iger are at odds. It’s not looking good.”
Bob Iger and Bob Chapek are at odds
This does not sound good for the future of Disney and the Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar movies and TV shows.
Why fix something that’s not broken?
I’ll let you know if I hear anything else on this story.
We’ve reached out to Disney for comment on this story, but they declined.
If you have any questions, you can always reach me via Twitter.
You can find me @EJLauder and my DMs are open.
Let us know what you make of this story.
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