Avi Arad has been involved with Marvel TV and film adaptations since the ’90s. While he’s still heavily involved in Marvel properties — most recently as a producer on the freshly released “Amazing Spider-Man 2” — he has not been credited on an in-house Marvel Studios production since 2008’s “Incredible Hulk,” where he served as a producer. However, in the wake of a Bloomberg Businessweek‘s April profile on current Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, Arad has reportedly publicly released a letter (posted by Latino Review, originally published by DailyMars.net) sent to the profile’s author, claiming responsibility for the success of Marvel Studios, and taking issue with a particular section in the Businessweek profile that stated his resignation in 2006 was as a result of “doubts about the strategy” to create the independent studio. The text of Arad’s publicly released letter follows in full.
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.
In addition to “Amazing Spider-Man 2,” Arad is also an executive producer on Josh Trank’s “Fantastic Four” reboot, and has been a large force in bringing Marvel’s characters to film and television — including the X-Men, Spider-Man, the Punisher, Daredevil, Blade and more. He even served as an executive producer on made-for-TV movies “Generation X” and “Nick Fury: Agent of Shield” starring David Hasslehoff, not to mention many of the ’90s Marvel animated series.
As a result, Arad’s role in Marvel Studios’ creation doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but the extent of involvement claimed in the letter hadn’t previously been disclosed. Arad and Feige also worked together on many of the early Marvel film projects, with Feige serving in a producer role on most of Fox and Sony’s Marvel films.