Kobe Bryant Launches Fantasy YA Book Series in Effort to Grow Multimedia Franchises

Kobe Bryant at The Oscars - Getty - H 2018
Steve Granitz/WireImage

Granity Studios is aiming to translate its original books into live-action, animation and theater productions.

Basketball icon turned producer Kobe Bryant and his Granity Studios announced Thursday a series of YA and middle-grade books that will act as launchpads into live-action, animation and theater productions.

The move marks Bryant's first major production effort since winning an Oscar for his short, Dear Basketball, and comes on the heels of the October publication of his book, Mamba Mentality: How I Play, a New York Times best-seller.

The company is focusing on original family-friendly content, and the new books will intersect the fantasy genre with sports by having young athletes as protagonists.

"I built Granity Studios as a platform to create and share original stories to inspire today's young athletes," said Bryant in a statement. "There's surprisingly little content that combines the passion of sports and the traditions of original storytelling. Granity Studios will fill that void."

Bryant enjoyed a 20-year career as a Los Angeles Laker, becoming one of the top basketball players of all time. He retired in 2016.

The books, listed below, will be published in 2019 and 2020 by Granity's own publishing house via a distribution partnership with Two Rivers Distribution.

The Wizenard Series: Training Camp, due in March 2019, tells of diverse cast of young male characters and their mysterious coach who breaks down five individual players to build a team.

Legacy and the Queen, due to hit shelves in July 2019, centers on a young black female tennis prodigy who uses her talent to take on the most powerful player, "the Queen," and save her family from ruin.

Viva, slated for October 2019, weaves a tale about a Latina princess who struggles with her quest for success in a kingdom under siege.

Other titles will hit in 2020.

The novels are already being developed across various mediums, with The Wizenard Series: Training Camp eyed for theater, and Legacy and Viva prepping as animated projects.

The titles join Granity's slate that already includes The Punies, a scripted podcast now in production on its second season. It is being developed for the screen. (Punies is also being developed for series animation.)

Continued Bryant: "Our team has worked tirelessly to put together an incredible slate of projects that we believe will change how young athletes learn more about themselves, as well as the sports they play. As a creator, producer and, most importantly, the father of three young girls, I continue to be inspired to build a studio that welcomes diverse storytellers who aim to inspire young people to reach their full potential."