UPDATED: Avi Arad, the former chairman/CEO of Marvel Studios (which he founded) has responded harshly to last month’s BusinessWeek‘s cover story profiling Marvel president Kevin Feige. In an email, first obtained by Latino-Review, Arad takes issue with the report about Feige titled “The Man Who Saved Marvel” which states that Arad resigned from Marvel in 2006 over a disagreement about a $525M self-financing deal with Merrill Lynch. Arad, one of the producers on Sony/Marvel’s big weekend opener The Amazing Spider-Man 2, is now running his own production company, Arad Prods. He still produces Marvel titles.
Arad told Deadline: “We had a list of titles, but the slate didn’t have Iron Man or Hulk, and I had a very tough time getting Iron Man back from New Line, but we got it back. I always loved Iron Man. I left because I wanted to leave. It was nothing other than it was time to go. The company was growing and I didn’t like committees and I was 60 and was doing well as it was. I took a walk and thought, ‘I’m too old for this.’ And I thought if I keep nothing but Spider-Man, I will continue with Marvel, but I can do other things. I wanted to do other things … and I am now. The company is in good hands with Kevin who doing a great job.” His anger over the insinuations in the article written by staff writer Devin Leonard are very clear.
BusinessWeek spokeswoman Rachel Nagler told Deadline: “Devin Leonard did receive this email from Avi Arad, and an email exchange followed between them. We stand by the reporting in our story.” Here, in his own words, is Arad’s email (paragraphs have been added to make it easier to read):
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.