Disney boss Bob Iger talks Star Wars, Marvel and Martin Scorsese
He’s arguably the most powerful man in Hollywood – the boss of The Avengers, The Lion King, Star Wars and Toy Story, not to mention Mickey Mouse.
Since becoming chief executive of The Walt Disney Company in 2005, Bob Iger has masterminded the Mouse House’s growth into an entertainment empire with the takeovers of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox.
The studio’s films have taken $8.3bn (£6.4bn) at box offices worldwide so far this year, and account for about $4 in every $10 spent at North American cinemas.
Following the publication of his memoir, titled The Ride of a Lifetime (Disney does theme parks too), he gave his only UK interview to BBC media editor Amol Rajan.
Here are five key things he said, including why “less is more” in the Star Wars universe, why Martin Scorsese was wrong to compare Marvel films to theme parks, and why Disney didn’t go through with a deal to buy Twitter.
Disney bought Marvel in 2009 and turned it into film’s most lucrative franchise. There have been 10 Marvel films in the past three years, with eight more coming in the next three. Is there a danger of over-saturation?
“Marvel is just doing sensationally well,” Iger replies. “The last film they released [Avengers: Endgame] had the highest global box office in the history of the motion picture business, and their pipeline is very, very rich with new stories and new characters and new adventures and new superhero exploits. So not true.”
It’s a different story with Star Wars, though. After a run of a film a year for five years, ending with The Rise of Skywalker this December, there will now be a gap until the next instalment in 2022.