In a quintessentially 2021 bit of news, a character first introduced in a NFT has been optioned for film and TV projects.
The non-fungible token in question is Aku, a rather twee-looking young black astronaut created by artist and former Major League Baseball player Micah Johnson. Behind Aku’s Hollywood aspirations are Anonymous Content and Permanent Content, which are tackling the NFT-inspired content.
“This deal is such an empowering moment for creators everywhere,” said Johnson. “A small black crypto community mobilized behind Aku at launch and told the world ‘This is a character we want in the world.’ And for Anonymous Content to recognize the magnitude of this movement and want to take the Aku story further makes me incredibly excited for our future together.”
Johnson’s character was first introduced with a February NFT drop on Nifty Gateway. During the first minute on the market, Aku Chapter 1 sold over $1 million in NFTs — with another $1 million sold over 24 hours. Little Aku has a whole backstory, one likely explored in any TV or film properties that follow and was inspired by Johnson’s nephew who once asked him if astronauts could be Black.
For the acronym-averse and those who have been living under the proverbial rock, a NFT (non-fungible token) is a unique unit of data stored on a blockchain with certification of authenticity that is not interchangeable. (Right? Right.) First taking the art world by storm, the digital assets have segued into music, writing and other mediums — with talent agencies signing NFT players left and right. This is the first time, however, that one has been optioned for film and TV projects by a major production company.
“We are experiencing a content renaissance fueled by the convergence of art with tech and an inspired generation of creators using the two to tell stories,” said Anonymous CEO Dawn Olmstead. “At Anonymous Content, we want to be at the forefront with them. Micah has pushed the boundaries of what we traditionally understand as entertainment and created a strong, complex character whose story is rooted in so many lived experiences. We are thrilled to work with Micah and the team at Permanent Content to give Aku’s amazing character a platform to share his boundless dreams, determination, and pure wonder with audiences everywhere.”
Anonymous Content’s Zack Hayden is set to produce the project alongside Permanent Content’s Andrew Gertler and Shawn Mendes. A discussion about how Aku will make the move from NFT into film and TV will be held April 17 on — you guessed it! — Clubhouse.