The company Stan Lee Universe, LLC, controlled by Genius Brands International with POW! Entertainment, has signed a 20-year deal to license the name and likeness of Stan Lee to Marvel Studios for future feature films and television productions, as well as use in Disney theme parks and experiences worldwide.
"We are proud to be the stewards of the incredibly valuable rights to Stan Lee's name, likeness, merchandise, and intellectual property brand," said Andy Heyward, Chairman & CEO of Genius Brands. "And, there is no better place than Marvel and Disney where Stan should be for his movies and theme park experiences. As we enter the centennial year of Stan's birthday, December 28, 2022, we are thrilled to see his memory and legacy will continue to delight fans through this new long-term agreement with Marvel."
Under the terms of the deal, Marvel Studios has acquired rights to use Stan Lee's name, voice, likeness and signature in movies and television projects, as well as use images, existing footage and existing audio recordings featuring Stan. Exclusive rights to use Stan Lee's name, voice, likeness and signature in theme parks, water parks, cruise lines and in-park merchandise were included for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products as part of the deal. Expect some deep fake Stan Lees popping up all over the place.
"As Stan's longtime business partner and friend, I'm looking forward to commemorating his work in this new way," said Gill Champion, President of POW! Entertainment. "Building a connection with his fans is important to us and it's a privilege to get to do that on his behalf."
In 2020, Genius Brands acquired worldwide rights to Stan Lee's name, physical likeness and signature from POW! Entertainment and licensing rights to his name and intellectual properties under a new joint-venture called Stan Lee Universe. Batman producer Michael E. Uslan was brought onto advise on film and TV projects. Genius arranged a deal with Archie Comics for an SLU comic book imprint starting with Superhero Kindergarten .