Spreading its areas of interest and wealth around, IDT Entertainment announced May 6, 2004 it has acquired a minority equity interest in POW! Entertainment LLC, headed by comic book legend Stan Lee. In addition, IDT Ent. has acquired exclusive distribution rights for all POW Ent. animated DVD properties plus the companies will co-produce and co-develop a minimum of six animation projects for direct-to-DVD distribution and broadcast.
Stan Lee is the inventor of the modern comic superhero. A prolific author, Lee revolutionized the comic book industry by creating compelling characters with extraordinary powers and talents which are also plagued by doubts and difficulties experienced by ordinary people. Some of his most enduring characters such as Spider-Man, The Hulk and X-Men have been spun off into television programs and feature films that have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.
As chief creative officer of POW!, Lee will create original characters for six new animated productions with IDT Ent. in a series entitled, STAN LEE PRESENTS, for possible direct-to-video and broadcast distribution channels.
In January 2004, IDT Ent. acquired a 5% equity interest in Archie Comics Entertainment, LLC, giving IDT the rights to co-develop and co-produce select animated properties based upon Archie Comics Ent. characters that may also be distributed through Anchor Bay.
Archie Comics Ent. is the entertainment and licensing arm of Archie Comic Publications Inc. with character properties such as ARCHIE, JUGHEAD, VERONICA, BETTY, SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH, JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS, KATY KEENE, CHERYL BLOSSOM.
IDT Ent. is bringing the creative genius of Stan Lee into homes worldwide, said Morris Berger, ceo of IDT Ent. Now, for the first time, Stan will have the power of IDT Ent.s Global Animation Studio at his disposal and guaranteed distribution to his core audience through our subsidiary Anchor Bay. These new properties will be perfect additions to Anchor Bays compelling catalog of DVD titles.
This joint venture with IDT Entertainment is a creative dream come true, said Lee. I feel like a kid in a candy store. I cant wait to see how IDT Ent. transforms my new characters and stories into spectacular 3D animated form.
Newark, New Jersey-based IDT Ent. is a subsidiary of IDT Corp. (www.idt.net), a multinational carrier, telephone and technology company. In March 2003, Digital Production Solutions (DPS), now a unit of IDT Ent., acquired rights to STARPOINT ACADEMY and CHAR, both Gene Roddenberry creations and put STARPOINT into production. In May 2003, IDT Ent. acquired a controlling interest in Film Roman Inc., the animation company well known for its production work on THE SIMPSONS and KING OF THE HILL.
In July 2003, IDT Ent. acquired a minority equity interest in Vanguard Animation, LLC. Under the terms of the Vanguard Animation investment, IDT Ent. has a first look right to provide production services on future Vanguard Animation projects. IDT and Vanguard Animation also entered into a joint venture agreement to jointly develop, produce, finance and arrange distribution of computer generated (CG) animation entertainment.
In December 2003, IDT Ent. acquired a controlling interest in Mainframe Ent. Inc., a Vancouver-based entertainment company well known for producing CG animation for films, television, videogames and the direct-to-consumer market. In December 2003, IDT Ent. acquired Anchor Bay Ent. Group. In March 2004, IDT Ent. acquired DKP Effects Inc., a Toronto-based 3D animation and special effects production company producing the animation for GAME OVER on UPN.