Former Marvel Studios CEO and Chairman Avi Arad ("The Amazing Spider Man," "Iron Man"), and his company, Arad Productions, is forming a joint venture with Bruno Wu's Seven Stars Entertainment to develop superhero franchise properties, based on Chinese history and mythology, the companies announced on Tuesday.
The agreement encompasses live-action tentpole feature films, animated television series, merchandising and mobile applications.
The first project, "Rise of the Terracotta Warriors" is based on an original story idea by Arad. It is inspired by the history and mythology behind China's Terracotta Army sculptures, which were created to protect China's first emperor in his afterlife.
"Bruno and I share an affinity for Chinese history and culture, and his knowledge will help guide me through this fascinating world of Chinese mythology," Arad said in a statement. "We are excited to introduce a new set of superheroes and other wonders of the world in a contemporary way to the Chinese youth and audiences around the world."
"Avi is a copious producer of fantasy, superheroes and sci-fi as well as one of the world's top toy designers," Wu said.
Wu and Arad will serve as producers on the projects, and Alexandra Bland from Arad Productions will executive produce.
Arad founded Arad Productions in 2006 after leaving Marvel, where he served as the chairman and CEO of Marvel Studios and CCO of Marvel Entertainment. In addition to "Spider-Man and "Iron Man," he was a driving force behind such other box-office franchises as as "X-Men," "Fantastic Four," "Blade" and "Ghost Rider."
Seven Stars Entertainment is a part of the Beijing-based Seven Stars Media, which focuses on the creation, aggregation and distribution of premium content in Asia and North America.