Origins and rise of Marvel Studios explored in the "With Great Power" podcast.

Origins and rise of Marvel Studios explored in the “With Great Power” podcast.

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As questions swirl about whether superhero fatigue is real, a new new podcast is hitting the airwaves addressing the 21st favorite film genre of the century, as well as the studio primarily responsible for its rise.

With Great Power: The Rise of Superhero Cinema is a four part podcast that comes from the Wall Street Journal and editor Ben Fritz, the longtime entertainment columnist who penned the prescient Hollywood tome The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Film.

And just like his book, the podcast promises to be a business story as well as a Hollywood story, filled with drama, outsized egos, heroes, villains, and billions of dollars.

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Fritz, who hosts and reported on the podcast, spoke to a group of people ranging from Avi Arad, former Marvel general counsel John Turitzin and former Marvel Studios president David Maisel to former Sony film chief Pictures Amy Pascal, former DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson and X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner.

Among the podcast’s big hits is Ike Perlmutter, the lone billionaire who owned Marvel and was sidelined after a civil war with Marvel’s Kevin Feige. Fritz details the inside story of the rift, including how Perlmutter tried to orchestrate a peace summit at Mar-a-Lago in 2015 that was nothing short of disastrous. Perlmutter also defends himself against allegations he didn’t want to make Black Panther and says Disney CEO Bob Iger betrayed him after the 2009 sale of Marvel to Disney.

Feige himself doesn’t make an appearance, but his presence is felt throughout the podcast, especially the Feige-focused third episode and the fourth, which details the Feige-Perlmutter battle for control. (Don’t worry, DC also has its time on the podcast with an up-close look at the rise and fall of Zack Snyder’s plans.)

Fritz was originally going to address Marvel and the rise of superhero movies as a book, but then realized the episodic nature of the story would translate better into a limited series podcast.

“I was also very excited about hearing the voices of the people who made superhero movies and negotiating the deals that made them,” says Fritz The Hollywood Reporter. “Or they were involved in the most intense behind-the-scenes fights and machinations. Also, the opportunity to include audio from the films themselves, old Comic-Con events, and fan interviews at the conventions I attended this year made it more engaging to tell the story.”

With Great Power will be part of The newspaperthe flagship daily podcast of The Wall Street Journal, produced in collaboration with Gimlet Media. The release dates for the four episodes are July 5, 6, 7 and 9 on all podcast platforms.

Even if Marvel hits a rough patch or the DC brand is harmed, superhero movies remain a hot topic of discussion. This fall will see the release of MCU: The Realm of Marvel StudiosOf The player writer and podcaster Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzalez and Gavin Edwards, which promises an unvarnished look at Marvel.

Fritz believes the issues facing Marvel and DC are real, but that the genre is here for the long term.

“I think in recent years quantity has taken precedence over quality and fans have noticed that,” she says. “There are too many Marvel shows on Disney+ for most people to keep up. And the lack of consistent, focused leadership with time to pay attention to each project has led to disappointing films from both Marvel and DC. But if they refocus on quality and consistency, I think fans will definitely want to see good superhero movies (and TV shows). Just look at the success of the last two Spider-Man movies, There is no way to go home AND On the other side of the Ragnoverse!”