MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios

Liveright: Norton. Oct. 2023. 512p. ISBN 9781631497513. $35. FILM
In this compulsively readable book, culture writers Robinson (podcaster, The Ringer), Dave Gonzales (host of the podcast A Storm of Spoilers), and Gavin Edwards (The Tao of Bill Murray) explore the astounding ascent of Marvel from its 1996 bankruptcy to its current status as a box office juggernaut. With comprehensive research and no small amount of wit, the authors detail the corporate strategies that led to the expansion of Marvel Studios, a titanic gamble requiring a multimillion-dollar loan and the use of 10 characters—Captain America, Black Panther, and Doctor Strange among them—as collateral. The book features the insights of a number of Marvel VIPs in all aspects of film production, but it’s the entity’s current president, Kevin Feige, who commands the central spotlight as the driving force behind the interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe. The authors do a superb job of exploring the internal conflicts between Feige’s innovative filmmakers and hidebound corporate executives over such issues as Marvel’s superhero lineup.
VERDICT Marvel fans and film aficionados alike will appreciate this highly recommended, smashing insider look at one of entertainment’s greatest success stories.
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