In his memoir The Ride of a Lifetime, Iger explained that he had to overcome the outdated beliefs of Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter, who was worried that fans would not want to see films that focus on black and female superheroes.
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. We had a chance to make a great movie and to showcase an underrepresented segment of America, and those goals were not mutually exclusive. 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.
The results speak for themselves. Both Black Panther and Captain Marvel went on to gross over $1 billion at the box office, while Black Panther nabbed a Best Picture nomination from the Academy Awards.
Marvel Phase 4 kicks off with Black Widow, opening in theaters on May 1, 2020. It will be followed by The Eternals opening on Nov. 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opening on Feb. 12, 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opening on May 21, 2021, an untitled Spider-Man sequel opening July 16, 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder opening Nov. 5 2021.