The X-Factor's Fremantle Buys Minority Stake In Axel Alonso's AWA
The British media company Fremantle behind Idol, Got Talent and The X-Factor has bought a minority stake in AWA.
Bill Jemas may have been ejected but Axel Alonso is still steering the Artists, Writers & Artisans, Inc. ship known as AWA, the existence of which was broken by Bleeding Cool in 2018, (though I still think it should be abbreviated as AWAAI), and now has some more fuel in the engine. Fremantle has tweeted that they have levelled up its relationship with AWA by making a minority investment in the company, tweeting out "We are excited to announce that we are strengthening our creative partnership & making a strategic minority investment in @AWA_Studios. Our first co-development project is Devil's Highway, a thriller based on the successful comic series by Benjamin Percy and Brent Schoonover."
Fremantle is a British multinational television production and distribution company based in London and is best known for talent reality show formats Pop Idol, American Idol, America's Got Talent, Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor as well as American game shows in the US and internationally. Well, Axel Alonso knows all about X-Factor from his Marvel Comics EIC days, of course.
Freemantle had already signed a development deal with AWA Studios, to adapt AWA comic books as film and television projects, but now they are buying a stake in the comics publisher. Currently, AWA already has Murdoch money, courtesy of James Murdoch's Lupa Systems, as well as SISTER, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Zach Studin is president of AWA Studios, Axel Alonso is co-founder and CCO over editorial, Matthew Anderson is co-chair and president, and Jon Miller, co-founder and co-chair, is the lead of AWA's executive team. No one mentions the former co-founder Bill Jemas, of course. At the time of launch, Murdoch said "The value of storytelling is only going up, and AWA is uniquely positioned to create a tremendous platform for writers and artists."
Variety credits the expanded partnership with Fremantle and Lupa Systems to Andrea Scrosati, Fremantle's group COO and CEO continental Europe and Anderson, quoting him as saying "We admire how Fremantle has built on its long-standing strengths to become an international force in scripted drama and film. AWA's success is built on collaborating with our creators to publish their stories in their purest form and then steering them to their fullest potential in film and TV. Andrea and the Fremantle team share this ethos and we are delighted for the unique opportunities this partnership will provide to our creators. The collaboration is a perfect strategic fit, giving AWA access to our global footprint, distribution infrastructure and production expertise and putting Fremantle at the very forefront of graphic fiction innovation. I also look forward working closely with Matthew and their world-class leadership and creative teams to continue pushing boundaries and building a slate of ground-breaking projects together."
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