What began five years ago as an ambitious dream conceived by ZAG CEO Jeremy Zag to launch a new kind of global superhero franchise is quickly becoming a reality, as more pieces fall into place for the company’s original, 360-degree label, ZAG Heroez.
After the Marvel/Japanese superpower-inspired idea received interest from Aton Soumache, CEO of French prodco Method Animation, the creative duo decided to co-produce five original properties under the ZAG Heroez umbrella. Miraculous—Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, Zak Storm, Power Players, Pixie Girl and Ghost Force were all created from the outset to each inspire animated TV series, consumer products, comic books, digital extensions and feature films.
“The vision was very ambitious, but we were driven by passion,” says Zag. “The biggest challenge is to not get lost along the way.” So far, things have been moving in the right direction. Flagship series Miraculous airs in 120 countries with broadcasters including Nickelodeon and Netflix (US), Disney Channel (EMEA, LATAM, Korea) and ABC (Australia), and along with global master toy partner Bandai, has racked up more than 300 licensees.
Meanwhile, Man of Action Entertainment (Big Hero 6, Ben 10) co-pro Zak Storm—Super Pirate, a second ZAG Heroez series, has bowed on Discovery Family US, Netflix (US) and POP (UK), among others. Coinciding with Zak Storm‘s Netflix debut, ZAG and Bandai also launched a connected play experience linking the show and toys to a mobile game.
To sharpen their focus further, ZAG and Method formed a ZAG Heroez co-production alliance with European children’s entertainment company Planeta Junior in February 2017. The deal marks the first multi-territory, multi-property and multi-year deal under the ZAG Heroez umbrella. Planeta is also managing the licensing program for ZAG Heroez across Southern, Central and Eastern Europe.
As for upcoming properties in the franchise, Power Players is a hybrid animated series about a young boy who can transform himself into a super-powered toy. Expected to launch in 2019, the show is written by Man of Action’s Steve Seagle and Joe Kelly.
Ghost Force is also planned for 2019, with Zag as director, and Pixie Girl is a modern take on a classic fairy myth that’s currently in pre-production with partners to be announced soon.
ZAG is also currently closing a three-picture deal with a soon-to-be announced studio that will produce live-action versions of Miraculous (2020), Ghost Force and Power Players. Special crossover episodes are also now in the works for the brands’ animated series and comic books.