Well, this one appears to have slipped under everyone's radar but the writing is on the wall, I suspect. Ever since Disney bought Marvel, fans were extremely nervous that the House of Mouse would take an aggressive overhaul approach to the going-ons at the House of Ideas. That notion has simmered down after a lot of time has passed and with only minimal interruptions to Marvel's daily business. However, earlier today, Robert Chapek, President of Distribution for The Walt Disney Studios, was promoted to President of Disney Consumer Products, and will be reporting to Disney President and CEO Robert A. Iger.
He replaces Andy Mooney, who resigned as Chairman of the division earlier this week.
Who cares, right? Well, buried in this news was the fact that Chapek will have an all new role as "overseer of a new company-wide division that will consolidate retail and licensing across Disney's lines of business including Walt Disney Studios, Pixar, Marvel, Media Networks, Interactive Media and Consumer Products.
Well, to state it plainly, Kevin Feige, Joe Quesada, Tom Breevort, etc. will be directly reporting to this guy. This is a sharp contrast to how business was conducted before as it was reported that Marvel was relatively free to do as they pleased, minus the occasional Disney marketing push (looking at you Tron/Marvel covers).
Time will tell whether, Mr. Chapek will continue to let Marvel have a loose leash but it doesn't appear to be that way, with a special group being created that basically will be looking to achieve a tighter grip on all of their Disney,Pixar, Marvel properties.
Likewise, it is possible that direct involvement from Disney may strengthen Marvel rather than hamper it's efforts. It's anyone's guess right now.
Maybe we'll get that Jack Sparrow / Tony Stark buddy-cop flick everyone's been clamoring for. Wait....that's only me?
Less than two years ago, Mr. Chapek was put in charge of a new combination of Disney's theatrical and home-video distribution groups. Now, theatrical distribution will again be split off and headed by Disney Studios President Alan Bergman, the company said. Mr. Chapek is 52 years old.
Under Mr. Chapek, Disney Consumer Products will be responsible for selling DVDs from the company's namesake movie studio, as well as Pixar Animation, Marvel Studios and the company's ABC television studio.
Packaged console videogames from the company's interactive media group will also now be sold by the consumer products group. Disney Interactive Media Group will continue to develop and produce its own titles, and to market its online games.