The Producers Guild of America announced today that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will be receiving the prestigious 2019 David O. Selznick Achievement Award, which recognizes a producer’s body of work in motion pictures. Past recipients include David Heyman (who spearheaded the entire Harry Potter franchise), Charles Roven (who produced Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and produces many current DCEU films), veterans like Jerry Bruckheimer, Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall, Scott Rudin, and Brian Grazer, and producing directors like Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood.
Whatever you think of the Marvel movies or the current superhero glut, Feige’s skill and impact on the Hollywood landscape is undeniably groundbreaking, and he’ll long be remembered for significantly changing the way movies are made. The producer got his start as an assistant to Lauren Shuler Donner and was hired by Marvel as a producer in 2000, working on films like Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies and Bryan Singer’s X-Men. But as long as he can remember he’s always wanted to produce films—not just superhero movies, but great pieces of cinema.
Feige so impressed Avi Arad that he was named president of Marvel Studios in 2007, at which point he spearheaded the risky gamble of producing their own content. It started with 2008’s Iron Man, after which Feige forged ahead with the aim of building a unified cinematic universe. The real test was 2012’s The Avengers, which solidified that this “Marvel Cinematic Universe” experiment worked. Now a decade and 20 films later, Marvel Studios is still going strong as a massive force in the marketplace, with Feige making ambitious moves with creatively diverse films like Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Thor: Ragnarok.
This PGA honor also not-so-coincidentally comes at a time when Oscar prognosticators say Marvel Studios has a terrific shot at landing the first Best Picture nomination for a superhero movie with Black Panther. The immensely successful blockbuster already has a serious Oscar campaign underway, and while Marvel is likely a shoo-in to land Best Popular Film nods for Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, writer/director Ryan Coogler’s deeply personal film is poised to potentially make history.
“Kevin Feige set for himself one of the most ambitious tasks ever attempted in cinematic storytelling, and then over-delivered on it,” said Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher, Presidents of the PGA. “What Kevin has accomplished with Marvel Studios is one of the great success stories of this generation. And now, with ‘Black Panther’ and the upcoming ‘Captain Marvel,’ Kevin has broadened our entire industry’s expectations for what tentpole movies look like—in front of the camera, behind the camera and in the audience. We’re honored that he’s accepted the PGA’s David O. Selznick Award.”
Feige will receive his award at the 30th Annual Producers Guild Awards on January 19, 2019.