Bron Studios has teamed with Florida’s Falcon’s Beyond production entity to develop location-based entertainment, animated properties and TV series based on both companies’ IP and content assets.
Bron Studios will work with Falcon’s Beyond to pursue location-based and immersive experiences tied to its upcoming slate of digital properties. Bron’s production track record in Hollywood to date includes such films as “House of Gucci,” “Joker,” “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” ‘Greyhound” and “The Survivor.” Falcon’s Beyond aims to develop original content and animated properties with help from Bron Studios. Based in Orlando, Falcon’s Beyond is known for building out massive live entertainment installations for theme parks, hotels and festivals.
“We’re committing our IP to create and co-create with Bron properties that can be activated in multiple lanes so that it reaches people simultaneously,” Magpuri said.
Falcon’s Beyond is the midst of a transaction to become a NASDAQ-listed public company through a merger with special purpose acquisition vehicle FAST II. That deal is expected to be completed by first quarter of 2023. If so, the new entity will be Falcon’s Beyond Global and trade under ticker symbol FBYD.
Last year, Falcon’s Beyond was formed through the merger of what had been Falcon’s Creative with Katmandu Group, which runs themed entertainment attractions. The newly minted Falcon’s Beyond then struck a joint venture with Melia Hotels International. Falcon’s Beyond’s “The Hidden Realms of Katmandu” animated property is poised for a big showcase within the new Katmandu Park Punta Cana theme park set to open this year in the Dominican Republic. The characters and setting debuted in 2007 at Katmandu Park in Mallorca, Spain.
Another priority for the partners is a content plan for “Gossamer,” an animated YA series that Bron is producing using the Unreal Engine technology created by Epic Games that has become the talk of the visual effects and animation sectors. The deal with Falcon’s Beyond is designed to further Bron’s growth as a next-generation content studio.
“Everything we’re developing we want to develop and monetize in as many ways as we can,” Gilbert told Variety. “Everything we’re doing is with an eye toward growing branded properties for the long-term: TV, film, Web3, physical location.”
Gilbert and Magpuri noted that speed to market is vital when it comes to breaking a new property by making it ubiquitous across TV, digital, gaming, animation, streaming et al. It’s a new way of working that demands new expertise. “Katmandu” will also soon become a trading card game, a mobile game app and a game on the kid-friendly gaming social media platform Roblox. The partners note that Falcon’s Beyond is taking the opposite of the usual route for breaking a new children’s property. Instead of launching with a movie or TV show, the starting point is characters know to millions of tourists from theme park exposure.
Falcon’s Beyond was formed in 2000 by Magpuri and has specialized in large scale installations for entertainment and hospitality clients, such as the design work on areas for Chinese water park Atlantis Sanya; a 1.5 million-square foot installation for IMG World of Adventure in Dubai featuring Marvel and Cartoon Network brands; and an immersive experience for Lionsgate’s Motiongate bringing the “The Hunger Games” franchise to life.
Vancouver-based Bron has a growing profile in the creative community through its content investments in Hollywood and beyond. Gilbert and Magpuri connected in part because both realized that they’d made the decision as entrepreneurs to become business partners with their wives. Brenda Gilbert serves as president of Bron; Marty Magpuri is a Falcon’s Beyond board member and former chief financial officer for its creative group.
Magpuri noted the importance of the Unreal Engine content-creation system to making it possible for Bron and Falcon’s Beyond to connect with each other on a common platform that allows numerous animators, vfx artists and others to work on a single piece of content at the same time. This architecture allows Falcon’s Beyond designers to craft theme park rides where the guests control the outcomes.
“There’s a language for us to talk to each other,” Magpuri said. “Using this incredible technology allows us to integrate well using such a powerful tool.”