Youku, the video streaming platform of Alibaba Group, has signed a deal with Genius Brands International to co-produce “Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten,” an animated series starring and executive produced by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The pact marks significant step in Alibaba/Youku building its footprint in the U.S.
Aimed at preschoolers, the comedy adventure series “Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten” will be available to Chinese audiences on the platform.
“Youku is one of the most innovative media platforms in the world with an unparalleled ability to integrate entertainment and commerce,” said Andy Heyward, the chairman and CEO of Genius Brands.
“We look forward to collaborating with Youku to create a high-quality program in the preschool space that will resonate with a global audience,” said Heyward, who is also executive producing the series with Schwarzenegger, Paul Wachter, CEO of Main Street Advisors, and Gill Champion, the president of POW! Entertainment.
Aaron Liao, general manager of Youku Kids, said “With Stan Lee’s creativity, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s star power, and Genius Brands’ expertise in children’s entertainment, ‘Superhero Kindergarten’ has all the elements to become a worldwide phenomenon.”
Liao added that “Youku’s platform and technology” will allow the show to “reach hundreds of millions of families in China.”
Genius Brands, which is also representing the show in international markets on top of producing it, introduced the project to buyers at MipJunior and is currently in discussions with potential U.S. partners.
Created by Stan Lee, the Marvel Comics icon who died last year, “Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, is also co-produced by Lee’s POW! Entertainment, and Schwarzenegger’s Oak Productions.
Schwarzenegger lends his voice as the lead character, Captain Courage. Partly inspired by Schwarzenegger’s role in the 1990 comedy “Kindergarten Cop,” the series is being written by Fabian Nicieza, the co-creator of “Deadpool.”