Disney Invests In Stan Lee

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 9:23 am,

stan lee disney Disney Invests In Stan Lee

Disney has now officially acquired Marvel, but they’re not stopping there. Apparently it’s not enough to own the house that Stan Lee built – Disney wants to own a piece of the man himself. To that end, Disney has bought a 10% share of Lee’s POW! Entertainment company for $2.5 million.

I first heard about POW! (Purveyors of Wonder) this past summer at Comic Con, where I got the chance to sit down and talk with Stan Lee. At that time, Lee described his new venture as a return to the creative essence he enjoyed during the formative days of Marvel Comics (i.e. before all the big-business b.s. got in the way). What does POW! and Disney’s new deal mean for we, the masses? Let’s take a look…

Back at Comic Con, we learned that POW! already had a first-look deal in place with Disney (as of 2007), whereby The House of The Mouse got exclusive first crack at whatever new super hero concepts or projects that Lee could think up – including a digital comic called Time Jumper about (you guessed it) a time-hopping hero. Disney has now expanded that first-look deal into an “enhanced rights” deal with exclusive consultation privileges.

I’m no contract lawyer, but to me it sounds like Disney is positioning themselves in a place where they have the right to fan any creative idea Lee may spark into a full-on multimedia franchise wildfire. And though Lee and Marvel famously parted ways in the 90s (thank you lawsuits), the Marvel Universe exists today largely in part to Stan Lee’s creativity – so why throw away a potential opportunity, right?

But just how big of an “opportunity” are we talking, here? Lee himself said to me that the modern super hero business is a vastly different market than the one he, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko helped give rise to so many years ago… Is Stan Lee still in step with these modern times in which a super hero is conceived from get-go with dreams of big profits and mass marketing potential already in mind?

stan lee2 Disney Invests In Stan Lee

“Kiss the ring!”

Disney seems to think so: they already have several POW! projects on the slate, including Nick Ratchett (“a light-hearted mystery tale”), Blaze (“action-adventure project”) and another project called Tigress. For further details on those, head on over to Slash Film.

In the end, I don’t know how much juice Disney is going to be able to squeeze out of POW! Entertainment, but it’s clear that the company recognizes the kind of clout that comic books and super heroes have earned over the last decade or so, and they are trying to tie down as much of that potential as they can get their hands on – including one the great minds that helped start it all.

Source: Hollywood Reporter & Slash Film

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  1. Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!!
    Is Disney CRAZY??
    A little bit of digging would tell you Stan is NOTHING without Jack Kirby,Jim Steranko,Steve Ditko or any number of visual artists that REALLY brought his meager ideas to life.You really think Stan could have created the Silver Surfer or Galactus by his self?? NOOOOOOOO!
    Stan by hisself? Remember Stripperella or any number of his lone creations earlier this decade?? Ha,ha,ha!
    Sounds as though Disney is throwing money around like a drunken sailor.

  2. im also skeptical of ole stan..

    from his appearances lately, his work, and it may just be by design.. but the dude seems off his rocker

  3. Stan Lee has done nothing at all for the past 20 years, yet still gets fanboys to worship him. He WAS a pioneer and a major contributor to the world of comics, but so were a dozen other legends! Get over it! For every Spiderman or Hulk he helped create, he also had at least a dozen throw-away loser creations.
    Frankly give me Joe & Jerry (Superman’s creators) over Stan any day.

  4. I wonder if they’ll wine and dine him at the Bohemian Grove.

    I so hate disney.
    There coming for your soul Stan, look out!

  5. Such HATRED for Stan the Man!! What the hell have YOU people done to be able to disparage the man?? Stan (an the others) revolutionized the comic world and I honestly believe that we wouldn’t have these wonderful movies coming out without the amazing universe that Stan helped to create. I bet nearly EVERYONE on this board would take $2.5 million from Disney in a heartbeat. I can’t blame Stan and it’s chump change for Disney if even ONE of Stan’s ideas bears fruit. Stan might not have created the next Spider-Man or Hulk, but the hatred that is being displayed towards him is really undeserved.

  6. Holden: That’s what the Internet is for. Slandering others anonymously(Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back)

    All the comments made me think of that..

  7. I can’t believe all the negativity toward Stan Lee. People need to show some respect.

  8. perhaps where Stan’s real talent lies is in the picking with who to collaborate with and the process itself. If the people who criticize him are right they should be so lucky as to be an eighth as successful as he is at his age. Still cutting deals and making stuff at his age is impressive.

  9. All say this, Stan never asked for his fame. He’s a modest contributer to Comic Book history but he’ll be the first to tell you, “Its all luck and timing!”

    He deserves his position in Comic based on his longevity and honesty!

    (IMO)

  10. Terrence howards should’ve been in Iron Man 2. Marvel are nothing but Money-Hungry-Tyrants

  11. @ Justin:

    No my friend u have it backwards, it is Terrnce Howard who is the money hungry Tyrant. If you didnt know, Howard was let go because he was asking for more money in the sequel to Ironman. For some reason he was paid more money than any other cast member, even Robert Downey Jr. It was a smart decision to let him go since I honestly believe Don Cheadle is a better actor.

    On other notes, no on e should diss Stan, He created many themes and super heroes that mostly everyone admires til this day.

  12. What hapens with the Marvel character tie ins at Universal Studios. How can Universal have the Hulk coaster and Spiderman Adventure when Disney owns them?

  13. they have a contract that directly allows them to keep those rides there as long as they wish signed before they were bought – a contract is a contract – doesn't mean Disney can't buy them out for say, oh, $100 million, and since you don't think “Disney” when you think Spiderman (and Disney will never want you to fully think that either), then I believe Univ. will keep that area for about a decade or more…

  14. they have a contract that directly allows them to keep those rides there as long as they wish signed before they were bought – a contract is a contract – doesn't mean Disney can't buy them out for say, oh, $100 million, and since you don't think “Disney” when you think Spiderman (and Disney will never want you to fully think that either), then I believe Univ. will keep that area for about a decade or more…