Not quite, but the two companies are teaming up to turn comics into films.
Valentine's Day is this week and the spirit of love is in the air, which apparently means that corporations are feeling quite amorous. Sony and Wizard World are the latest companies to find themselves in the grip of passion, with a press release revealing the two companies are teaming up to develop new comic book based properties.
At first glance, you might be thinking, there's just one problem here: Wizard World is known for comic conventions, not comic books. But the move may actually be brilliant, if it works, as Wizard World does have a stable of independent comic book creators that table at its shows. Indie creators and seasoned veterans will have the chance to become the next Robert Kirkman or Mark Millar without having to deal with a publisher as a middleman. Sony will have access to new movie ideas for a lot cheaper than buying them from the actual Robert Kirkman or Mark Millar. And Wizard World… well, they need the money.
Here's how the press release says things will work:
Wizard World and Sony Pictures will option and develop original IP. Wizard World attracts many of the country's top artists and story creators as a showcase for their original work. Under the new deal, Sony Pictures and Wizard World will jointly discover top talent, optioning their work to incubate and develop these stories into various media.
To celebrate this blessed union, executives from both companies engaged in wanton public displays of affection via complimentary quotes in the press release.
"We are always looking for new ways to find that next generation of great IP," said Jonathan Kadin, Executive Vice President of Production for Sony Pictures. "This deal gives us unique access to the incredible talent that Wizard World can bring to the table, putting us in a prime position to find the stories that break through the clutter."
"Sony Pictures Entertainment is uniquely aligned as a studio with dominance in the motion picture, television, and electronics spaces," added Wizard CEO John D. Maatta. As Wizard World expands into a full spectrum media company from our roots in live exhibition, the partnership with Sony Pictures allows for an exceptional array of new opportunities and initiatives across many business extensions. It also creates a new and powerful voice in the pop culture."
"As Wizard World continues to grow its brand across the globe, we see IP development as only the first step in the relationship," said Sony Pictures exec Jeffrey Godsick. "We will work with Wizard World to develop opportunities across several areas, including licensing, retail and location based entertainment. There are tremendously talented artists and storytellers presenting their properties at the conventions, and this relationship with Wizard World will afford us direct and early access to what might turn out to the next great idea for a film."
"Working with Sony Pictures to leverage our live events to create content and to enter into new business extensions will create an original and unique enterprise in the live event and entertainment space," said Wizard World Chairman Paul Kessler.
"With the alignment of Wizard World and Sony Pictures Entertainment, Wizard World takes the next step in its agenda to establish itself in the media business landscape," said Wizard World board member Jordan Schur, turning this into a fivesome. "Transporting storytellers of tomorrow from Wizard World's dominant film and TV driven fan convention business will be realized as Wizard World and SPE launch new content providers off the floors of Wizard World's shows to the global screens of the world."
So, not Wizard World: The Movie then. Too bad, because we would have totally watched Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson leaping from a crane into a burning Wizard World Convention at the top of the World's Tallest Convention Center.