BEVERLY HILLS, CA--(Marketwired - June 21, 2016) -
- Launch to Coincide With "Stan Lee 75 Years in the Business" Salute in The Hollywood Reporter's Comic-Con Issue
- Animated Entertainment Content to Premiere Exclusively on THR.com, Kicking off Comic-Con With Episode One in Virtual Reality
- STAN LEE'S COSMIC CRUSADERS Global Consumer Products Program to Debut at Licensing Expo With Hot Topic as Anchor Retail Partner
Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment partners with the entertainment industry's flagship media brand, The Hollywood Reporter ("THR"), and global brand management company Genius Brands International, Inc. ("GBI") (OTCQB: GNUS), on the launch of a groundbreaking new property, STAN LEE'S COSMIC CRUSADERS, in conjunction with THR's special salute "Stan Lee 75 Years in the Business" in the Comic-Con issue. The announcement was made jointly today by Gill Champion, CEO and President of POW! Entertainment, The Hollywood Reporter's Entertainment Group President/Chief Creative Officer Janice Min and Andy Heyward, Chairman and CEO of GBI.
A co-production between POW! Entertainment, GBI, and The Hollywood Reporter, STAN LEE'S COSMIC CRUSADERS is an adult animated series appealing to 18 - 34-year-olds written by Fabian Nicieza (co-creator of Deadpool) based on a concept by Stan Lee, who will edit and voice himself as one of the series' main characters. Iconic superstar comic artist Todd McFarlane is creating the cover graphics for THR's special issue on Lee.
The first four episodes of STAN LEE'S COSMIC CRUSADERS will premiere exclusively on THR.com with one episode airing each day during Comic-Con International 2016. The webisodes will cliffhanger daily, and the first one will actually be in VR, with 'VR boxes' to place on smart phones being given out at Comic-Con. STAN LEE'S COSMIC CRUSADERS is the first series to launch on THR.com and will be promoted through THR's YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. THR will also collaborate with distribution partners on promoting the premiere episodes on THR.com and the remaining 22 episodes of the series. The animated series will then move to full global distribution by GBI.
The global consumer products program will be introduced by GBI at Licensing Expo 2016, beginning June 21st. The company has already secured national retailer Hot Topic to launch the brand under a direct-to-retail apparel and accessories program in stores and online in conjunction with the webisode launch at San Diego Comic-Con.
"I can't wait to bestow upon the world one of our latest creations, STAN LEE'S COSMIC CRUSADERS," said Lee when talking about the new series. "And as if this wasn't exciting enough, we've joined forces with the creative teams at The Hollywood Reporter and Genius Brands so you can guarantee this will be an unforgettable event that you won't want to miss!"
"The Hollywood Reporter is thrilled to collaborate with Genius Brands and POW! Entertainment to celebrate Stan Lee's amazing accomplishments and longevity with the premiere of his latest animated series, STAN LEE'S COSMIC CRUSADERS on THR.com during Comic-Con International," added Min. "Having that exclusive airing coincide with a special feature on Stan, the superhero of comic creators, within the pages of our special Comic-Con edition of THR is so perfect. Nobody comes close to Stan's creative prolificacy, and the introduction of this new series is the ideal opportunity for the industry and THR to honor Stan and his trailblazing contributions as a one-of-a-kind visionary."
"Stan Lee is a true industry icon, from his Marvel Superheroes like Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, X-Men, Hulk, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, to the latest characters in STAN LEE'S COSMIC CRUSADERS, he continues to stimulate our imaginations with characters and stories that are as indelible and relevant today as they were 50 years ago and will be 50 years from now," said GBI's Heyward. "We are honored to partner with Stan's POW! Entertainment on producing his latest project and look forward to further collaborations as we celebrate this legendary man and his remarkable body of work."
STAN LEE'S COSMIC CRUSADERS follows Stan Lee who, while having writers block trying to come up with a new comic, meets seven aliens who have crash-landed in the U.S. Each of the aliens has superhero powers, however, each can only use their power in the context of their homeland. On the verge of being captured by 'the men in white coats,' Lee offers them sanctuary and convinces the white coat men that the aliens are actually superheroes, resulting in Lee's intensive superhero immersion training, helping the aliens learn how to access and use their powers as superpowers on Earth.
About POW! Entertainment Inc.
POW! Entertainment Inc. (OTCQB: POWN) is a multi-media entertainment company founded by noted comic book writer Stan Lee together with award-winning producer Gill Champion and the late intellectual property specialist Arthur Lieberman. POW!'s principals have extensive backgrounds in the creation and production of original intellectual properties, including some of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time. POW! Is utilizing Stan Lee's historical background by perpetuating his legacy while creating and developing all new live-action films, television, digital games, merchandising, licensing and related ancillary markets, all of which contribute to global expansion. POW! Partners with third parties and strategic alliances, including studios and networks, in the production and distribution of new POW! Character franchises. For more information, visit http://www.powentertainment.com.
About The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter is the entertainment industry's flagship media brand. With in-depth reporting, analysis, unprecedented access, world-class photography and video, and feature exclusives, The Hollywood Reporter is the definitive source for breaking entertainment and business news. THR won a 2016 Webby Award for best online film and video in the entertainment category and the American Society of Magazine Editors National Magazine Award for General Excellence in the Special Interest category in 2015 and 2016 in addition to a 2015 and 2016 ASME National Magazine Award nomination for Magazine of the Year and a Gerald Loeb Award nomination for its Studio Chiefs Round Table. Additionally, the brand took home 10 SoCal journalism awards in 2015, more than any other news outlet, in categories including Best Website and Entertainment Journalist of the Year. In 2014, The Hollywood Reporter staff won Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards for The Hollywood Reporter in Focus: The Wolf of Wall Street. The Hollywood Reporter and Sundance TV partnered together in 2015 to co-produce and broadcast "Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter," an original non-fiction series featuring panels with potential 2015 Emmy nominees. THR's platforms include an award-winning weekly magazine, dynamic web and mobile sites, festival and awards season apps, tablet, iPad editions, social media, and branded events.
The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group reaches more than 27.5 million US users a month online, with a social footprint of about 15 million, ranking number 3 among comScore entertainment-news properties, delivering news to an audience of industry power players and consumers deeply invested in entertainment content. Follow The Hollywood Reporter on Twitter @thr, on Facebook at facebook.com/HollywoodReporter, and on Instagram @hollywoodreporter.
About Genius Brands International
Headquartered in Beverly Hills, California, Genius Brands International, Inc. "GBI" (OTCQB: GNUS) is a publicly traded global brand management company that creates and licenses multimedia content for toddlers to tweens. Led by award-winning creators and producers, GBI creates "content and products with a purpose," providing enrichment as well as entertainment. The Company distributes its content worldwide in all formats, as well as a broad range of consumer products based on its characters. GBI's portfolio includes award-winning Baby Genius, re-launched with new entertainment and over 40 new products; adventure comedy Thomas Edison's Secret Lab®, available on Netflix, public broadcast stations and GBI's Kid Genius channel on Comcast's Xfinity on Demand reaching 21 million households; and Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club, created with and starring iconic investor Warren Buffett. The Company is also producing a new animated preschool series based on Llama Llama, the NY Times bestselling children's book franchise; and the music-driven, tween adventure series SpacePOP.
GBI's wholly owned subsidiary A Squared Entertainment is a brand management and licensing company that represents third-party properties across a broad range of categories in territories around the world. The company currently represents From Frank, a humor greeting card and product line, and Celessence Technologies, the world's leading microencapsulation company.
For additional information please visit www.gnusbrands.com.
Forward Looking Statements:
Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as "may," "might," "will," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "continue," "predict," "forecast," "project," "plan," "intend" or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation those set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), not limited to Risk Factors relating to its patent business contained therein. Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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