Avi Arad Takes Credit for Marvel's Movie Success

Avi Arad

Marvel Studios founder Avi Arad hasn't been in-house at the studio since he resigned in 2006, giving up the litany of positions he held there and at Marvel Entertainment, but he still deals with the studio as a producer on Sony's Spider-Man series -- and he also apparently still feels the sting of righteous indignation regarding how his legacy at the company is perceived.

Seething over a profile piece published by Bloomberg Businessweek in April, Arad recently fired off an angry email to the writer responsible for the article, then saw fit to post it publicly. In the email, he accuses reporter Devin Leonard of doing shoddy research and minimizing Arad's contributions to Marvel's massive box office success, while also admitting Leonard was most likely given erroneous information by his former friends at Marvel.

"I am sure you were told by Marvel that I resigned over the self-financing strategy," Arad wrote, but then added, "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 characters' design to get to where we are today."

Arad went on to accuse Leonard of doing "unprofessional self-serving work" and said he'd "forgiven" successor Kevin Feige "for following orders and taking the credit, but he had no choice."

Interestingly, in addition to taking credit for the overall scope of Marvel's cinematic universe, Arad claims he's responsible for the financing deal that made Marvel the captain of its own destiny. "The big presentation to financial institutions and insurance companies took place on the Paramount lot. I was the presenter and it worked," he argued. "Does this sound to you like someone who disagreed with the strategy to make our own movies?"

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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