April 16, 2008 / 9:23 AM / 10 years ago

Stan Lee to launch superhero franchise

LAS VEGAS (Hollywood Reporter) - Comic book legend Stan Lee, one of the forces behind Spider-Man and the X-Men, is helping to develop a new superhero property, “Legion of 5.”

Stan Lee in Santa Monica in a 2007 photo. The comic book legend, one of the forces behind Spider-Man and the X-Men, is helping to develop a new superhero property, "Legion of 5." REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

His production shingle POW! Entertainment has teamed up with Utah investment firm Brighton Partners and Vancouver-based producer Rainmaker Entertainment to turn the concept into a series of computer-animated films.

Details of the characters and story line are being kept under wraps.

Rainmaker CEO Warren Franklin reported that the partners are raising about $24 million to get things going. “We are hoping to develop a strong franchise with the characters,” he said.

Plans call for Rainmaker to create the look of the characters as well as develop and produce the feature-length computer-animated film properties.

A cross-platform approach will include games, online and mobile releases. Merchandising is part of the plan as well.

Separately, Lee has set up three projects at Disney, which houses POW!: “Nick Ratchet,” following the exploits of a private eye; “Blaze,” an action adventure; and “Tigress” (working title), the story of a woman who starts getting tiger-like instincts.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee signs autographs to promote his new video game "Ultimate Alliance", which features 140 Marvel characters, at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles May 10, 2006. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

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