Mark Ruffalo has claimed Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige almost stepped down from his role in 2012 after quarrelling with Disney executives over a lack of diversity and representation.
In a new interview with The Independent, the actor, who plays Bruce Banner/The Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), recalled how Feige once told him that he had approached leaders at the company over concerns about the depiction of women in superhero movies and was so incensed by their reaction that he threatened to quit.
“When we did the first Avengers, Kevin Feige told me, ‘Listen, I might not be here tomorrow,'” Ruffalo shared. “And he’s like, ‘Ike (Isaac Perlmutter, Disney’s largest shareholder at the time) does not believe that anyone will go to a female-starring superhero movie. So, if I am still here tomorrow, you will know that I won that battle.'”
Feige’s passionate pitch eventually prompted a change in the studio, with Captain Marvel, the first female standalone movie in the MCU, fronted by Brie Larson, released last year.
And Ruffalo was full of praise for the Marvel boss, especially in relation to the way in which he is championing equality and diversity.
“Because Kevin wanted black superheroes, women superheroes, LGBT superheroes, he changed the whole Marvel universe,” the 52-year-old explained. “We now have a gay superhero on the way, we have black superheroes, we have female superheroes – Scarlett Johansson has her movie coming out, we have Captain Marvel, they are doing She-Hulk next. No other studio is being that inclusive on that level.
“They have to, though. This is the f**king world.”
© Cover Media