A new rumor claims that Kevin Feige is trying to move up at The Walt Disney Company and become the number two in charge at the company.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 23: (L-R) Taika Waititi and Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios attend the Thor: Love and Thunder World Premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in [Hollywood], California on June 23, 2022. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

This new rumor comes from The Ankler editor Jeff Sneider during an appearance on John Rocha’s The Hot Mic show.

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Sneider believes that Feige will leave Marvel Studios following the release of Fantastic Four and the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He says, “I do think you get Fantastic Four off the ground, you get X-Men off the ground and you leave.”

He goes on to indicate that running Lucasfilm might be a possibility before stating, “I’ve heard that the job that Kevin had always coveted was that of Alan Bergman, who was basically like the number two at the studio.”

Sneider continued, “I think that may be Kevin’s thing, being the creative, absolute head of the studio, who can put his fingerprints on everything and leave maybe the business stuff to someone in the Iger type of seat who has to oversee parks and cruise ships and all this type of s**t. And Kevin would just love to be the top of Disney, period, for creative.”

Dominique Thorne and Kevin Feige attend the Ant-Man and The Wasp Quantumania World Premiere at the Regency Village Theatre on Monday, February 6, 2023 in Westwood, CA.
(Photo:Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

Sneider later asserts, “Basically, what I’m getting at is that Feige wants to be the number two at Disney.”

“He aspires to be more than the head of a label. Not that Marvel’s a label, it’s a full-blown studio as is Lucasfilm, but you know what I mean, Lucasfilm, Marvel, they still at the end of the day report to Disney. Those are Disney-owned,” he added.

Kevin Feige, Alan Bergman and Bob Iger attend the Ant-Man and The Wasp Quantumania World Premiere at the Regency Village Theatre on Monday, February 6, 2023 in Westwood, CA.
(Photo:Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

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Interestingly, a previous rumor from May 2021 from Variety’s Brent Lang and Matt Donnelly claimed that Feige was perfectly content to stay at Marvel Studios and had no ambition to go to Lucasfilm and lead Star Wars.

The two claimed, “Insiders say that Feige is fully committed with his Marvel duties and has no ambition to lead Lucasfilm or take more of a role.”

This report from Variety also noted, “Several Disney insiders expressed doubts that Feige, Kennedy, Morris and Doctor would willingly report to anyone other than Bergman. They also argue that the heads of the Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm brands have their own artistic chops, making it unnecessary to find one studio executive to serve as creative ringmaster.”

Producer Kevin Feige attends the Ant-Man and The Wasp Quantumania World Premiere at the Regency Village Theatre on Monday, February 6, 2023 in Westwood, CA.
(Photo:Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

The timing of this rumor is rather interesting as Marvel Studios is a downward trend and there does not appear to be any light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is performing worse than any of Marvel Studios’ releases last year when it comes to box office grosses. The film has only grossed $127.4 million domestically so far and a meager $287.8 million globally.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania box office grosses compared to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

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On top of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania performing worse than anything Marvel released in 2022, the 2022 releases had anemic box office hauls as well especially compared to their predecessors with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness being the exception.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever only brought in $854.8 million compared to Black Panther’s $1.3 billion global gross, and that’s not even adjusting for inflation.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever box office numbers compared to Black Panther via The-Numbers

Thor: Ragnarok also had a higher global gross compared to Thor: Love and Thunder bringing in $850.4 million compared to Love and Thunder’s $760.9 million global gross. This also without adjusting for inflation.

Of note, Thor: Love and Thunder’s production budget is estimated to be $70 million more than Thor: Ragnarok’s.

Thor: Love and Thunder’s box office numbers compared to Thor: Ragnarok’s via The-Numbers

Not only are Marvel Studios films seeing significant declines at box offices, but the more recent films are also some of the worst reviewed films from audiences.

On IMDb, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has a 6.5. That’s the third worst rated Marvel Cinematic Universe film. It’s only better than Thor: Love and Thunder and Eternals, which are tied for the worst rated films with both receiving a 6.3.

Other recent releases such as Black Widow, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness are in the bottom 10 rated films in IMDb.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 13: (L-R) Louis D’Esposito, Co-President, Marvel Studios, Jon Favreau, and Kevin Feige, President, Marvel Studios attend the ceremony honoring Jon Favreau with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California on February 13, 2023. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

What do you make of this rumor? Do you think Kevin Feige is trying to abandon ship as the Marvel Cinematic Universe slowly sinks?

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