Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to become a “significant investor” in global children’s media company Genius Brands International as part of his agreement to produce and star in the company’s animated children series, Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten.
Shares of publicly-traded Genius Brands surged nearly 10% in premarket trading Monday on the announcement that said Schwarzenegger has elected to receive warrants to buy Genius Brands common stock as an advance against his profit participation in the show. Any further payouts would likely to be in the form of cash.
The show will premier in 2021 in the U.S. on Amazon Prime. Created by Stan Lee as one of his final projects, the show is co-produced by Genius with China’s Alibaba Group, Lee’s POW! Entertainment, and Schwarzenegger’s Oak Productions. Schwarzenegger also voices the lead character. Co-creator of Deadpool, Fabian Nicieza, is scripting the series.
Schwarzenegger said he was, “honored to help realize Stan’s vision of creating a children’s cartoon series that not only entertains with superhero adventures, but also imparts valuable lessons about the importance of health, exercise, nutrition, anti-bullying, and diversity.”
Andy Heyward, CEO of Beverly Hills-based Genius Brands said having the actor and former California governor as a warrant holder “is a tribute to his belief in both the series and Genius Brands.”
Genius’ other properties include Rainbow Rangers for Nick Jr.; Llama Llama, starring Jennifer Garner, for Netflix; toddler brand Baby Genius; adventure comedy STEM series Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab; entrepreneurship series Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club; and Stan Lee’s Cosmic Crusaders, created with Stan Lee’s Pow! Entertainment.
The company was in the news last week, when Heyward named Margaret Loesch, longtime entertainment exec and former CEO of Fox Kids Networks Worldwide, as executive chair of Kartoon Channel!, the new kids’ ad-supported streaming service launching June 15. David Neuman, former president of Walt Disney Television, was named chief creative officer.