|Avi Arad has thrown a smoke bomb on the floor of his office, cackled like a super villain and flown the coup at Marvel Studios.|
Well, sort of. He’s leaving the corporate chunks of his title. That is to say that he has officially resigned as head of Marvel Studios, but will keep his office and still act as a creative consultant to the company.
The move is apparently to give him more focus and time to spend on being a producer. He’s started his own company, Avi Arad Productions for just that purpose. “It's performance based," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "If the movies do great, I do great. I'm like a commission salesman." He’ll be hoping that his first two assignments will do great – the Hulk sequel and Jon Favreau’s Iron Man film. "After we do these movies, I'm sure I can pick up another one and another, unless we screw them up and then I'm toast," he laughed to Variety. "We have built a team that can make our movies, and right now the emphasis should be on our 2008 slate, so working on them as a producer became a really smart thing to do."
In what must have been one of the tougher parts of the deal to hammer out, he also has a “non-compete” clause in his contract, which means that he can’t make independent, non-Marvel superhero films and is also banned from big sci fi/fantasy productions unless they feature a Marvel character.
Stepping into the breach will be Michael Helfant, who is president and chief operating officer, and Avi’s usual right hand man, Kevin Feige, the company’s president of production. Hopefully, we won’t lose Avi as the Marvel mouthpiece.