Under the deal, Stan Lee Universe will assume worldwide rights, in perpetuity, to the name, physical likeness, physical signature, live-action and animated motion picture, television, online, digital, publishing, comic book, merchandising and licensing rights to Stan Lee and select intellectual property (IP) that he created post-Marvel Entertainment.
“In all of Hollywood, there is no greater prize,” says Andy Heyward, chairman & CEO of Genius Brands. “This is the Holy Grail. Stan Lee Universe is a once in a lifetime asset drawn from over 100 original, heretofore unexploited properties, created by the most successful creator of intellectual property of our time.”
Once completed, subject to due diligence and documentation, the deal will position Genius Brands as the managing and controlling partner of the Stan Lee Universe joint venture.
According to Genius Brands, the Stan Lee Universe is comprised of more than 100 original Stan Lee creations, from which it will develop and license approximately seven properties per year.
“Having worked with Stan and been a close friend for almost 30 years, nothing could make me prouder than for Genius Brands to become the guardian of both his brand and body of work,” adds Heyward. “I have no doubt that the greatest characters, the greatest stories, and the greatest hits from the mind of Stan Lee have yet to be told. As big as Spider-Man, Black Panther, X-Men, and the Avengers are today, tomorrow it will be Stan Lee’s Tomorrow Men, his Stringbean, his Black Fury, and Virus.”
Genius Brands plans to explore the Stan Lee Universe on-screen and across consumer products categories in the years ahead.
“Stan Lee was one of a kind,” says Margaret Loesch, former president of Marvel Productions, and current head of Genius Brands’ Kartoon Channel. “Stan Lee Universe is going to be an unimaginable source of blockbuster entertainment for many years to come.”
Last year, Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment entered into a licensing deal with Mego that was supposed to result in a collection of 8-inch action figures based on the “Secret Vault of Stan Lee.” Thus far, the only figure to be revealed is a version of Lee himself that is said to be shipping this summer.