Marvel ups Feige

Arad, Kyle also promoted as studio begins internal pic prod'n

Marvel Studios, which is beginning to produce its own film slate, has upped Kevin Feige to prexy of production, a newly created position.

Also nabbing promotions were Ari Arad — son of Marvel Studios chair-CEO Avi Arad — and Craig Kyle, who become exec VP of production and VP of creative development for animation, respectively.

Avi Arad said the company didn’t need these positions before, since it produced pics in conjunction with a major studio, such as the “Spider-Man” franchise at Sony or the “X-Men” series at 20th Century Fox.

Now, in addition to continuing its alliances with various studios, the comicbook publisher is developing a slate of 10 films based on Marvel characters that it will finance and produce internally via a $525 million debt facility it raised from Merrill Lynch. Paramount will distribute the pics.

Feige, who exec produced films including “Spider-Man 2” and “Fantastic Four,” will work with Avi Arad in supervising all film and TV productions for Marvel Studios. He is also an exec producer on the upcoming “X-Men 3” and “Spider-Man 3.”

In his new capacity, Ari Arad will play a key producing role on upcoming Marvel feature films and TV shows. He is a co-producer on feature “Ghost Rider” and a live-action TV series based on comicbook “Blade.”

Kyle, who helped build the studio’s animation department, will help develop Marvel characters in all animated formats, such as direct-to-DVD and TV series. He oversaw development and production of “The Ultimate Avengers,” Marvel’s first direct-to-DVD film, to be released next month. He also helped develop animated TV series based on “Fantastic Four,” “X-Men” and “Iron Man.”

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