We saw in an earlier post that DC Comics has made more money in movies than Marvel Comics -but Marvel had a slow start and is catching up fast. A lot of the recent explosion in Marvel's Hollywood success is due to one man: Avi Arad.
In late 1996, Marvel filed for bankruptcy, cueing a two-year battle royale featuring a head-spinning number of alliances that shifted in various permutations between Perelman, Perlmutter and Arad, and Carl Icahn, the takeover mogul who owned much of Marvel’s debt.
Of all these players, it was Arad who emerged as the comic-book fan. While corporate lawyers screamed obscenities at one another, Arad wooed bankers with a stirring speech about the value of Marvel’s characters: “Spider-Man alone is worth a billion dollars,” he pleaded, as recounted in Dan Raviv’s Comic Wars. “But now, at this crazy hour, at this juncture, you’re going to take 380 million for the whole thing? One thing is worth a billion! We have the X-Men. We have the Fantastic Four. They can all be movies.”