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Connecting the storyline: Chasan & Marvel

The reader inquiry continues from our articles about 10 Locations from Film and Media and The Chasan Villa. This time around we thought we would focus on the connection between The Chasan Villa and The Avengers Compound. Film Daily spoke with Kim Chasan Duffy, daughter in-law of Roslyn and Fred Chasan who was a Legal Affairs Executive for Marvel, about her experience and the villa.

Today, Marvel is known as an asset owned by The Walt Disney Company that has produced some of the biggest box office hits of all time; however, this outcome was far from certain. A few years before Disney acquired Marvel, the company was being thrown into bankruptcy by investor Ron Perlman. The bankruptcy judge ordered the company to make Marvel’s intellectual property salvageable. “The answer was to license out the properties – characters, storylines, illustrations, etc. – to various studios.” The legal work done by Chasan Duffy and a handful of other legal professionals on the team at this time paved the path for all the movies we know today in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

As part of the restructuring process, the Marvel team had to assess the company’s assets from historical items in the archives of Marvel’s Wilshire Boulevard offices to ongoing work of the illustrators including Stan Lee, founder of Marvel. “The artists including Stan were always taking inspiration from current events and newspapers,” Duffy Chasan recalled. “I totally wouldn’t doubt if the creatives didn’t do the same from The Chasan Villa and potentially even use the house as a model.”

For a quick refresher, The Chasan Villa shares many similarities – location, architecture, topography, design, timeline, and even storyline – with a fictional villa in Marvel’s universe called The Avengers Compound. Like it’s fictional counterpart, The Chasan’s property was set in Los Angeles at an oceanfront address directly adjacent to a westward bend of Palos Verdes Drive behind “m” shaped cliffs. Both properties shared light crème-colored stucco, red terracotta roofs, and a collection of rounded and squared archways supported by square-ornamented pillars. The Chasan Villa was destroyed in 1983-1984 after neglected water and sewer pipes from the 1920s broke and caused the cliffs beneath the property to destabilize and fall into the sea. Marvel introduced The Avengers Compound into their storylines in 1984 and explained in its backstory that compound’s fictional infrastructure dated back to the 1920s. In a later storyline, a broken sewer pipe leads to the destruction of one of The Avengers’ compounds.

Interested to hear more? Send us a note and we can continue to explore The Chasan Villa and other notable places from film and media.

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