Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The agreement, announced on Monday, will create a joint venture for over 100 original Stan Lee creations.
Lee, who died in 2018, was the creator, writer, editor and publisher of superhero comic characters, including Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther and the Fantastic Four. Disney bought Marvel for $4 billion in 2009.
Andy Heyward, chairman and chief executive officer of Genius Brands, said, “In all of Hollywood, there is no greater prize. 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.”
“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,” Heyward said. “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.'”
Lee created POW! Entertainment in 2001 to manage his creator rights and licenses as it developed film, TV and video game properties. That company and Genius Brands already co-produced the adult animated series “Stan Lee’s Cosmic Crusaders.”
Genius Brands said the Stan Lee Universe programs would be part of its new Kartoon Channel.