Friday, June 8, 2007
Los Angeles Zowie! Stan Lee, the creator of such comic-book superheroes as Spider-Man and X-Men, has signed an exclusive content deal with Walt Disney Studios, it was announced Wednesday.
Under the multiyear agreement, the studio gets first shot at films, TV shows, books and video games devised by the 84-year-old Lee and his company, POW! Entertainment.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Disney Studio Chairman Dick Cook said the deal was designed to create characters and projects that can become franchises for Disney.
Lee's characters have made hundreds of millions of dollars for other studios. Sony Pictures produced the Spider-Man series and saw "Spider-Man 3" open in early May with a record $151.1 million weekend domestically.
Twentieth Century Fox made the highly profitable X-Men films. Also in production at various studios are movies about The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man.
Sony Pictures is part of Sony Corp. Twentieth Century Fox is owned by News Corp.
Lee is no longer associated with Marvel Entertainment Inc., which produces comic books and feature films based on characters he created while employed there.
At Disney Studios, part of The Walt Disney Co., Lee will work on developing characters for action films that might also be featured in direct-to-DVD productions, video games, comic books or other formats.
"I've got millions of them," Lee said. "I have file cabinets filled with ideas for movies and television shows and all sorts of things, and I've been waiting to be associated with someone like Disney so I can start tearing into these things."
Some of the characters that Lee developed at Pow! Entertainment, such as the superhero stripper "Stripperella," featuring the voice of Pamela Anderson as "Erotica Jones," won't be made into Disney films, Lee said.
Lee said he isn't concerned that Disney's family image will hurt his projects.
"There is such a big difference between action and violence," Lee said. "I have never been a fan of violence, but I love action, and so does Disney."