Arnold Schwarzenegger will star as Captain Courage in Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, a new animated series aimed at preschoolers and produced by Genius Brands International, POW! Entertainment and Schwarzenegger’s Oak Productions.
Schwarzenegger is an executive producer of the series, which he and others are describing as the final project worked on by Lee, the Marvel Comics icon who died in November 2018 at age 95.
“It is an honor and privilege to work with Genius Brands and POW! Entertainment on this new series and help carry on Stan’s creative legacy by introducing this new group of superheroes to preschool children around the world,” Schwarzenegger said. “Not only does Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten feature comedy and action, but there are many valuable lessons to be learned along the way. Of particular pride to me is the fact that I am not only teaching kids to use their superpowers, but I am also imparting valuable lessons to kids worldwide about the importance of health, exercise and nutrition.”
Lee’s concept for the show was partly inspired by Schwarzenegger’s success in Universal’s Kindergarten Cop, the 1990 comedy directed by Ivan Reitman.
The official synopsis of Kindergarten Superhero: “Many years ago, Arnold Armstrong (Schwarzenegger) was just an average gym teacher who acquired incredible superpowers when the earth passed through the ionic dust left in the wake of a mysterious comet. As a result, Arnold transformed into Captain Courage, one of the earth’s greatest protectors…now, Arnold must serve humanity once again by working ‘undercover’ as a brand-new kindergarten teacher whose main task is to train this unique new generation of super-powered 5-year-olds secretly.”
Executive producing along with The Terminator star are Genius Brands chairman and CEO Andy Heyward and POW! Entertainment president Gil Champion. Paul Wachter, CEO of Main Street Advisors, helped broker the deal and will also executive produce. Fabian Nicieza, co-creator of the Marvel Comics character Deadpool, is scripting the animated series. Lee’s animated image will appear in every episode of the show, Heyward noted.
“What will be particularly unique about this series is that there will be an animated cameo of Stan Lee appearing in every episode,” Heyward said. “Just as his millions of fans look forward to seeing him appear in each Marvel film, they will look forward to his presence in each episode of this cartoon. The strong positive messaging of the series regarding health, exercise and nutrition coming from the credibility of Arnold Schwarzenegger will make it a series that parents will enjoy alongside their children.”
During a career that spanned eight decades, Lee co-created hundreds of characters including signature Marvel Comics properties like the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men, Thor, Nick Fury, Ant-Man and Doctor Strange. Champion said the project will add to Lee’s already vast Hollywood legacy.
“Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten was near and dear to his heart, working with one of his longtime collaborators Andy Heyward, as well as Arnold, and we look forward to continuing the partnership with Genius Brands to bring Stan’s vision for this new adventure series to life,” Champion said.
In 2011, Lee and Schwarzenegger announced a collaboration on another animated project, an action series called The Governator, but the concept never reached market.