Disney, Stan Lee sign production deal

Wed Jun 6, 2007 11:56pm EDT

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Walt Disney Studios has signed a multiyear, first-look deal with legendary comics creator Stan Lee and his production company, POW! Entertainment.

Specifics were not disclosed, but Lee and his production company will develop and produce all forms of entertainment for various platforms.

"The big thing is we're trying to do projects that are high concept, stories that will lend themselves to franchises," said Lee, whose POW! stands for Purveyors of Wonder.

Lee is the co-creator of many of the most popular Marvel Comics superheroes that have gone on to starring roles in today's tentpole movie marketplace, from Spider-Man to the Fantastic Four to the Hulk.

"Stan has so many fantastic new ideas for films, and we can't wait to get started," said Oren Aviv, president of production at Walt Disney Studios. "Stan Lee is a living legend in the world of pop culture, and his characters and stories have been the inspiration for some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters. We're very excited to be working with him and his talented team in creating some incredible new motion picture experiences."

A major component of the agreement is home entertainment. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment president Bob Chapek was instrumental in bringing the deal to Disney. Chapek will work closely with Lee on many of his projects.

"(We) feel very fortunate to be collaborating with him on a wide range of new projects for all divisions of our company," Chapek said. "His track record is impressive by any measure, and (the home entertainment unit) is sure to benefit from his creations."

Lee made his first non-Marvel venture at the height of the dot-com boom with Stan Lee Media, with the intent of creating superheroes for the Internet. The venture collapsed, however, amid a stock manipulation scheme.

Lee, who was never implicated, created POW! in 2005. The venture so far has produced a Sci Fi Channel movie as well as two direct-to-DVD movies, "Mosaic" and "The Condor."

He also created the 2003 Spike TV cartoon series "Stripperella," featuring the voice talent of Pamela Anderson.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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