Disney’s Bob Iger Is Still the Most Powerful Person in Hollywood Thanks to Marvel

If there’s any CEO closest to the original founder of a company, it’s Bob Iger in terms of being similar to Walt Disney. Iger is noted for staying on-brand while subsequently attempting to take over the world with the Disney stamp on entertainment.

If Walt Disney did a lot of that before his death in 1966, it makes you wonder if he would have done the same deals Iger made in 2019.

It’s safe to say Iger has exceeded all accomplishment of any prior Disney CEO, including Uncle Walt himself. As such, Iger truly is the modern Walt Disney and subsequently the most powerful person in Hollywood living today.

There are a lot of good feelings about that, even if others have major consternation about what Disney’s power will do to smaller films struggling to find an audience.

Iger tops Hollywood Reporter’s Top 100

Bob Iger smiling at the camera
Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company | Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Every year, Hollywood Reporter assembles a Top 100 list of the most powerful people in Hollywood. There’s still plenty of candidates, but Iger is #1 again for the fourth year in a row.

If they could, they’d likely place him somewhere above No. 1 since the amount of deals he brokered just this year alone is the stuff of corporate dreams.

He’s starting to reveal exactly how he brokered those deals with Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 20th Century Fox in his new autobiography called The Ride of a Lifetime.

There couldn’t be a more apropos title for a book about the life of a CEO riding a perpetually exciting wave. We can’t imagine we’ll ever see a CEO accomplish so much in a short range of time and manage to change the course of Hollywood over the long-term.

Yes, Iger is mostly an ethical CEO. Nevertheless, the deals he made could have used a little more foresight on what the impact would be on how Hollywood works.

What will Iger’s reputation look like in 50 years’ time? Did Disney practically taking over today’s most wanted media properties do future harm to fairness in the movie industry?

The backlash against Disney pushing out smaller art films is starting to grow

At the time of this article, we’ve heard from three influential A-list people in Hollywood speaking out against what the Disney-Marvel partnership has done to squeeze out the little guys who make movies.

One of the first to speak up was Jennifer Lopez, something we wrote about recently. She spoke up at the Toronto Film Festival about her worry of Marvel films starting to push out small, independent films about women.

Then you had the infamous comment from Martin Scorsese who called Marvel films “theme parks” and saying they just weren’t for him other than being well-made popcorn entertainment. Following Scorsese, you also had Jennifer Aniston speak up similarly to J.Lo’s comments.

There’s a possibility this is just the beginning of many in Hollywood who have experience with indie film speaking out against Disney in the coming year. The backlash could become serious enough where it causes a major rift within the film world.

You really can’t be as powerful as Iger and not realize the downsides to becoming the most powerful media corporation in the world.

Iger seems to choose the positive thinking side anyway (the Disney way), yet we wonder if Disney’s brand could be hurt in time. Unless they use their ethical ways to help solve the problem they might have created.

Let’s hope Iger moves toward supporting smaller films

We’re going to be seeing Iger step down in 2021, giving a little more time for him to set his legacy. These stunning media deals and his powerful designation will go down in history for sure. How he makes Disney a fair player in the movie industry is another thing.

Will he make a little effort to ensure Disney doesn’t gobble up every movie screen so the struggling filmmakers of the world won’t have trouble finding audiences? He already appreciates being inclusive within the Disney banner.

Let’s hope he sees the film world as a whole and makes sure Marvel and other Disney products aren’t the only things mainstream audiences see in their local movie houses throughout the 21 century.