Before Kevin Feige, Avi Arad ran Marvel Studios, the division of the company in charge of producing projects featuring Marvel characters that actually make money. Under Arad's tenure, Marvel produced the Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and X-Men movies with Sony and Fox before making Iron Man on their own. In an article titled "The Man Who Saved Marvel" last month, Business Week downplayed Arad's contributions, crediting Feige instead and saying Arad resigned due to a a financing disagreement. Here's the email Arad sent to Business Week, from a Deadline report which also notes that Business Week are standing by their story:
Good morning Devin. As usual you manage to disappoint me with your false statements. I am sure you were told by Marvel that I resigned over the self-financing strategy. It is about time for a reporter like you to do your homework and check the facts. It will sound arrogant to you, but I single handedly put together the Marvel slate. Read it carefully and you will notice the natural progression of the character’s design to get to where we are today.
You should reach out to Merill Lynch and Ambac Insurance and to our international partners that came on board based on my track record. Our financial partners counted on my reputation. I had to work very hard to convert the doubters. They trusted me and without Iron Man this article would have not been written. Iron Man was not even in the original slate. I knew that we needed it so I set out to get it back from Newline and the rest is history.
Our financing would have never happened without me reaching out to Brad Grey to make a distribution deal that will give you a corporate guarantee. Other people in Marvel worked for many months with Universal and could not reach a deal. I got tired of waiting and went to Brad. The deal was done in days, successful for both companies. The big presentation to financial institutions and insurance companies took place on the Paramount lot. I was the presenter and it worked. Does this sound to you like someone who disagreed with the strategy to make our own movies?
I have forgiven Kevin for following orders and taking the credit, but he had no choice. Shame on you for kowtowing to your business gods. I have given up on journalistic integrity. You called me to talk about Kevin and I gave you the most true and glowing account on someone that I love and respect. Share your notes otherwise you just wasted my time. I will share this letter with other papers and your management to demonstrate the unprofessional self-serving work this reporter demonstrated.
It should be noted that Arad is one of the producers of Amazing Spider-Man 2, which was either a spectacular success or a dismal failure at the box office this weekend, redeeming or condemning Arad, depending on which is true.