The slate, announced Thursday, comes eight months after the retired basketball superstar and animator Glen Keane won the Academy Award for best animated short feature for “Dear Basketball.” Granity is also in production of its second season of scripted podcast, “The Punies”; and produced the series “Detail” on ESPN+. Bryant’s first book “Mamba Mentality: How I Play the Game” was published on Oct. 23.
“I built Granity Studios as a platform to create and share original stories to inspire today’s young athletes,” said Bryant. “There’s surprisingly little content that combines the passion of sports and the traditions of original storytelling. Granity Studios will fill that void.”
“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,” he added. “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.”
Bryant played his entire 20-year professional career with the Los Angeles Lakers and won five championships before retiring in 2016. He’s positioning Granity as a full-fledged content house, a publisher, and a producer of multi-genre family-friendly originals with an emphasis on diversity of gender, ethnicity, and background.
Granity’s new projects will start with the publication of five Middle Grade and Young Adult novels to be released in 2019 and 2020, published by Granity’s own publishing house in a distribution partnership with Two Rivers Distribution. Each book will thematically revolve around athlete protagonists who, through the use of their imaginations and hearts, overcome obstacles to become their best selves. Each Granity Studios novel was conceptualized by Bryant
The slate includes “The Wizenard Series: Training Camp,” in which a diverse cast of young male characters and their mysterious coach who breaks down five individual players to build a team. It will be published in March. Granity will follow in July with “Legacy and the Queen,” the story of a young, black, female tennis prodigy who uses her talents to take on the most powerful player, and in October with “Viva,” a tale about a Latina princess who struggles with her quest for success in a kingdom under siege.
Bryant and team will look to develop each novel across a variety of genres including theater, animation and live-action. Planning has begun for “The Punies” animated TV series, “The Wizenard Series: Training Camp” is slated for theater, and “Legacy and the Queen” and “Viva” are slated as animated projects.
“Granity is a more than just a production company,” said Molly Carter, Granity Studios Chief Marketing Officer. “It’s a home for visionaries in every genre – from publishing to television to film – to come together and redefine a category. Unlike any athlete in the content industry, Kobe himself has conceptualized and created each story being released by our studio.”
Variety reported in June that Bryant had been denied entry into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after the governors committee decided that the Los Angeles Lakers legend needed to show evidence of a larger career in the field before being allowed to represent it as a member of the organization. His Oscar nomination generated controversy due to his 2003 sexual assault case. (That case was dropped after Bryant’s accuser refused to testify, and he later settled a civil suit out of court.)
Bryant and Granity Studios are also represented by WME.