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Global brand management company Genius Brands International has struck a joint venture with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment to acquire the name and post-Marvel IP from the legendary writer, editor and publisher of Marvel Comics.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the agreement between Genius Brands and Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment will create a partnership to exploit more than 100 original Stan Lee creations to create a “Stan Lee Universe.” The Stan Lee IP collection will be built from all characters and IP created by Lee outside of Marvel Entertainment, now owned by The Walt Disney Co.
Lee created POW! Entertainment in 2001 to manage his creator rights and licenses as it developed film, TV and video game properties. That company and Genius Brands aleady co-produced the adult animated series Stan Lee’s Cosmic Crusaders.
As they expand their collaboration, the Stan Lee Universe joint venture will hold the worldwide rights to the name, physical likeness, physical signature, live-action and animated motion picture, TV, online, digital, publishing, comic book, merchandising and licensing rights to Stan Lee and his IP creations.
Andy Heyward, chairman and CEO of Genius Brands, said tapping Lee’s unexploited properties represented a major content development deal. “It’s almost impossible to conceive that one mind created all this wealth. The spinoffs alone defy the imagination. From animated television, to toys, apparel, video games and every conceivable licensed product imaginable, Stan Lee characters populate the screens and retail shelves worldwide. There is no creator who has influenced pop culture and created more successful entertainment,” Heyward said in a statement.
The deal will make Genius Brands the managing and controlling partner of the Stan Lee Universe joint venture. Lee, who died in November 2018, was the writer, editor and publisher of iconic superhero comic characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther and the Fantastic Four.
He was also the editor and creative force behind Marvel Comics, which was sold as part of Marvel Entertainment to Walt Disney for $4.4 billion in 2009.
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