It is likely no surprise that one of the high water marks of Disney CEO Robert Iger's career at the studio is a movie that came from Marvel, changed the game, and made boatloads of money -- but exactly how much love the career executive has for the movie in question is pretty remarkable. The movie is Black Panther and, after championing the film into being, Iger writes in his new book Ride of A Lifetime that he was delighted with not just the movie, but with the positive cultural impact it had with audiences.
The answer may not be a surprise, since Black Panther is the only Marvel Studios film ever to be nominated for Best Picture -- but what is arguably more interesting is the way he phrases his praise. Iger says not just that the film is the movie he's most proud of, but the "product," suggesting that it even eclipses things like Disney+ and various theme park upgrades that have happened during his tenure as CEO.
"There may be no product we’ve ever created that I’m more proud of than Black Panther," Iger writes.
In the same section of the book, Iger notes that he had to tackle internal dissent at Marvel to get the film made, but that he knew they had to do it after reading a recent Black Panther comic. He notes that he received more positive feedback from Black Panther than from any other film he has worked on, including encouragement from U.S. President Barack Obama and multimedia magnate Oprah Winfrey.
"The experience of watching Black Panther with the crowd of people that packed the Dolby Theatre for the premiere will remain one of the most memorable moments of my career," Iger writes. "Until then, I’d only seen it during screenings at my house or with a small group at the studio. I knew we had something special, but you’re never quite sure how something is going to be received. Still, I couldn’t wait to share it with the world, and to see and feel their reaction to it. That night the energy in the room was electric long before the lights went down. You could feel the anticipation that something unprecedented was about to happen, something historic, and the film more than exceeded those expectations."
Spider-Man: Far From Home and Avengers: Endgame are now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and SVOD. Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021.