Genius Brands GNUS has signed a 20-year deal with Marvel Studios that will see the Walt Disney Co NYSE: DIS)-owned brand license the Stan Lee name and likeness from Stan Lee Universe LLC, a venture of Genius Brands and POW! Entertainment.
Marvel Studios is licensing Stan Lee for use in films and television and for Disney theme parks and experiences.
Marvel Studios will be able to use Stan Lee’s name, voice, likeness and signature in movies and television series and can also use existing footage and existing audio recordings featuring Lee.
Disney will also receive exclusive rights for Lee’s name, voice and likeness for its theme parks, water parks, cruise lines and in-park merchandise as part of the licensing agreement.
“There is no better place than Marvel and Disney where Stan should be for his movies and theme park experiences," Genius Brands CEO Andy Heyward said.
Why It’s Important: The Stan Lee name is synonymous with Marvel as he was the creator of several of the most important and most recognizable superheroes of all time. Lee helped create Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk and the X-Men.
Lee previously served as editor-in-chief of Marvel and was named the company’s chairman emeritus.
Marvel fans will remember the infamous cameos of Lee in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He appeared in almost every Marvel film and television series from X-Men in 2000 on until his death in 2018.
Genius Brands released “Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2021 on its streaming platform called Kartoon Channel!
The company is also behind the hits “Llama Llama” and “Rainbow Rangers” on Netflix Inc NFLX and has “Shaq’s Garage” starring Shaquille O’Neal coming to the Kartoon Channel! in the fall of 2022.
On Tuesday, Genius Brands reported first quarter financial results. Revenue increased 35% year-over-year to $1.4 million, which marked the 10th consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth for Genius Brands.
GNUS Price Action: The stock closed up 9.6% at 69 cents a share.
Disclosure: The author has a long position in shares of Genius Brands.
Photo: Stan Lee, via Gage Skidmore
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