David Maisel

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David Maisel
Alma materDuke University, Harvard Business School
OccupationEntertainment executive, film and Broadway producer
Known forMarvel Studios (chairman)[1]
Notable work
Marvel Studios film slate financing
The Angry Birds Movie
Home townSaratoga Springs, New York
AwardsTony Award for Best Musical (Fosse)

David Maisel is an American film and Broadway producer, entertainment businessman and the architect of the self-financed and self-producing Marvel Studios.[2][3][1][4][5] He is the executive producer of Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Angry Birds Movie.[6] At the helm of Livent, Maisel won a Tony Award for Best Musical for the Broadway production, Fosse.[7][8]

Early life[edit]

David Maisel was raised in Saratoga Springs, New York. He graduated from Duke University and then earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. His first job was with Boston Consulting Group where he advised entertainment companies.[1][9][10]


Maisel joined Creative Artists Agency in 1994 as a corporate advisory agent working with Michael Ovitz, the agency’s founder and CEO.[9][1] Maisel assisted in Matsushita’s sale of entertainment conglomerate MCA/Universal to Seagram in 1995. When Ovitz joined Walt Disney Company as president in 1995, the company also added Maisel as its Director of Corporate Development and Strategic Planning. When Ovitz left Disney he invited Maisel to plan his next venture. Ovitz acquired a minority stake in the largest publicly traded live-theater company, Livent, and named Maisel President. While at Livent, Maisel produced the Broadway show, Fosse, which won a Tony Award for Best Musical in 1999. Maisel restructured the company and then engineered the sale of Livent to SFX in 1999 for $100 to $110 million.[10][11]

From 1999 to 2001, Maisel was Managing Director of chello, Europe’s largest broadband-service provider. In 2001, Maisel joined Endeavor Talent Agency to lead its corporate strategy and business development efforts.[10]

Marvel Studios[edit]

In 2003, Maisel pitched Marvel Studios’ CEO and Chairman, Avi Arad and then pitched CEO, Isaac Perlmutter, on his idea of Marvel financing and producing its own movies in a connected cinematic universe. Perlmutter hired Maisel as Marvel Studios’ President. To execute his plan, Maisel engineered a slate-structure financing to total $525 million.[1]

In 2005, Maisel was promoted to Vice Chairman of Marvel Studios and, in 2006, Maisel was also elevated to the Office of the CEO of Marvel Entertainment. Maisel was promoted to Marvel Studios’ Chairman in 2007 and oversaw the launch of the first Iron Man franchise film in 2008. In 2009, Maisel arranged the sale of Marvel to Disney for $4 billion.[9][12][13][14] In 2015, Marvel and Disney recognized and thanked Maisel as the Founding Chairman of Marvel Studios in the credits of Avengers: Age of Ultron.[15]


In July 2011, Maisel was hired by Rovio Entertainment to lead its efforts to make an Angry Birds movie as Special Advisor and Executive Producer of The Angry Birds Movie.[16] The film hit #1 for its opening weekend in May 2016 and grossed $350 million in worldwide box office receipts.[17]

In 2018, The New York Times reported that Maisel partnered with Scooter Braun to launch Mythos Studios, which acquired half of Aspen Comics.[2] Along with its stake, Mythos holds the entertainment rights to Aspen's properties including the Fathom and Soulfire comic book series. Both of which are in development at Mythos. SB Projects COO Scott Manson and The Angry Birds Movie animation producer Catherine Winder have been hired for the company, which is based in Los Angeles. With Manson holding an executive post.[18]


  1. ^ a b c d e Masters, Kim (May 5, 2016). "Marvel Studios' Origin Secrets Revealed by Mysterious Founder: History Was "Rewritten"". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "A New Film Studio From the Moguls Behind Justin Bieber and Marvel". New York Times. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  3. ^ "David Maisel of Gaia, Inc". Morningstar. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Feige Couldn't Shine Ike's Shoes" – Marvel Board Members Talk Marvel Studios". Bleeding Cool News. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Marvel Studios' Secret Origins Revealed by Founder". MovieWeb. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  6. ^ "'Angry Birds' Film Is a Gamble for Rovio Entertainment". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  7. ^ "The Secret Origin of Marvel Studios". ScreenRant. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  8. ^ "HOW MARVEL RISKED EVERYTHING TO GO FROM BANKRUPTCY TO BILLIONS". screencrush. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  9. ^ a b c Leonard, Devin (May 23, 2007). "Calling all superheroes". Fortune Magazine. Retrieved 2011-05-10. ...and Avi Arad, 59, former chairman and CEO of Marvel Studios,..
  10. ^ a b c Brodesser, Claude (October 2, 2001). "Maisel shifts to Endeavor". Variety. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  11. ^ "2 Executives to Step Down at Ailing Livent". Los Angeles Times. Bloomberg News. June 15, 1999. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  12. ^ "Exec makes Marvel move - Entertainment News, Exec Shuffle, Media". Variety. November 1, 2005. Retrieved December 4, 2011.
  13. ^ Zeitchik, Steven (September 27, 2006). "Marvel lifts pair of execs". Daily Variety. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2014 – via HighBeam Research.
  14. ^ "Marvel Studios' David Maisel to step down after Disney deal". Los Angeles Times. December 7, 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
  15. ^ Masters, Kim (5 May 2016). "Marvel Studios' Origin Secrets Revealed by Mysterious Founder: History Was "Rewritten"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  16. ^ "Angry Birds hires movie producer for 'future films'". BBC.co.uk. July 5, 2011.
  17. ^ Graser, Marc (December 11, 2012). "'Angry Birds' movie taps 'Despicable Me' producer". Variety. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  18. ^ "Scooter Braun, David Maisel Acquire 50% Stake In Aspen Comics, Launch Mythos Studios". Deadline. Retrieved 28 March 2018.

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