“I watched all the movies. I devoured all the articles. I listened to all the pods. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the MCU . . . and then I read this magnificent book. For fans, by fans; hilarious, gripping, and emotional; no infinity stone is left unturned. I loved it three thousand.” —Damon Lindelof
The unauthorized, behind-the-scenes story of the stunning rise—and suddenly uncertain reign—of the most transformative cultural phenomenon of our time: the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Marvel Entertainment was a moribund toymaker not even twenty years ago. Today, Marvel Studios is the dominant player both in Hollywood and in global pop culture. How did an upstart studio conquer the world? In MCU, beloved culture writers Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, and Gavin Edwards draw on more than a hundred interviews with actors, producers, directors, and writers to present the definitive chronicle of Marvel Studios and its sole, ongoing production, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For all its outward success, the studio was forged by near-constant conflict, from the contentious hiring of Robert Downey Jr. for its 2008 debut, Iron Man, all the way up to the disappointment of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and shocking departures of multiple Marvel executives in 2023. Throughout, the authors demonstrate that the original genius of Marvel was its resurrection and modification of Hollywood’s old studio system. But will it survive its own spectacular achievements? Dishy and authoritative, MCU is the first book to tell the Marvel Studios story in full—and an essential, effervescent account of American mass culture.
About the Author
Joanna Robinson is a writer and podcaster at the Ringer. Previously, she worked at Vanity Fair. She lives in Oakland, California.
Dave Gonzales is a podcaster and has written for the New York Times and the Guardian. He lives in Denver, Colorado.
Gavin Edwards is the best-selling author of The Tao of Bill Murray and twelve other books. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.
A superb chronicle of how Marvel Studios conquered Hollywood…. This definitive account of the Hollywood juggernaut thrills. — Publishers Weekly, starred review
The book every MCU fan needs to read.
— Alan Sepinwall, author of The Sopranos Sessions
A deeply researched and engagingly written spin through Marvel history that gives credit where it’s due, without papering over cracks. Even the biggest fan will find new revelations and new perspectives in the often first-hand accounts of the studio’s climb to world dominance. — Helen O’Hara - Empire Magazine
A riveting, deeply researched history of the collaborative wizardry and backstage showdowns behind Marvel Studios’ popcorn-movie empire. — Douglas Wolk, author of All of the Marvels
A gift. Comprehensive, accessible, and entertaining, MCU makes for a great primer on a modern pillar of Hollywood entertainment.
— Nicholas Quah, Vulture and New York Magazine
Robinson, Gonzales, and Edwards deliver the definitive chronicle of the greatest cinematic achievement of all time. An absolute treasure trove of depth and detail that will delight both new Marvel fans and Marvel zombies from way back, like me. — Jeff Cannata
I thought I was an authority on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I was wrong. This impeccably researched and reported tome is both a propulsive page turner and a real peek behind the curtain into how you build a cultural phenomenon, brick by obsessive brick. — Marc Bernardin, screenwriter and comic book author