Stan Lee GBI

GBI-POW joint-venture inks 20-year deal with Marvel for Stan Lee rights

The agreement with Marvel Studios includes the rights to use the comic book author's name and likeness in TV, movies, merchandise and theme park experiences.
May 18, 2022

His name and likeness are revered by generations of fans, and now Stan Lee’s legacy will officially be stewarded as part of a 20-year licensing deal between Marvel Studios and Stan Lee Universe.

A joint-venture between Genius Brands International and POW! Entertainment, Stan Lee Universe was established in 2020 to manage Lee-created IPs that fall outside the purview of Marvel Entertainment. Lee died in 2018.

This long-term partnership builds on GBI’s first collaboration with Marvel last year to license certain Lee likenesses. December 28, 2022 will mark what would have been Lee’s 100th birthday, a milestone that signals potential for new content honoring his legacy, according to GBI.

Under this latest deal, Marvel has the rights to use Lee’s name, voice, likeness and signature in upcoming TV and movie projects, with exclusive rights to use them in theme parks, water parks, cruise lines and in-park merchandise for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. Rights to images, existing video footage and audio recordings featuring Lee are also covered.

Until his death, Lee made regular cameo appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, becoming a regular touchpoint for fans to watch out for in the films, and maintaining his name and relevance in the canon of pop culture.

New Marvel projects and news toplined Disney’s 2022 upfront presentation yesterday in New York, where the company released a first-look trailer for Disney+ live-action series She Hulk: Attorney At Law and revealed that Loki was the most-streamed Marvel series on the service to date. Further details on the SVOD’s ad-supported tier were not disclosed.

In other Disney news, London-based Moonbug Entertainment is partnering with Disney Branded TV to create Morphle, a CG-animated series based on short-form preschool series My Magic Pet Morphle, which was acquired by Moonbug in 2019. The new longer-form series (52 x seven minutes) is slated for a 2024 release on Disney+ and Disney Junior everywhere except China.

Meanwhile, Disney+ continues expanding its global reach, launching in South Africa today. Subscribers in the region now have access to a catalogue of content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and Star.

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