Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Marvel Announces New Deal with Arad

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. a global character-based entertainment and licensing company, today announced that the company has entered into a new arrangement with Avi Arad to independently produce films for Marvel under his own production company banner, Avi Arad Productions.

In this new capacity, Mr. Arad will remain actively involved in Marvel's upcoming film slate, including "Iron Man" and "Hulk", the first two films anticipated to be financed and produced by Marvel under its new film financing slate.

Mr. Arad will also remain attached to produce various licensed productions, including the upcoming "Spider-Man 3", scheduled for release next year, and subsequent sequels.

Consistent with this restructuring, Mr. Arad is resigning from his corporate positions as Chairman and CEO of Marvel Studios, Chief Creative Officer of Marvel and a Marvel director, but will continue to serve as Creative Advisor for Marvel through the remainder of 2006.

Michael Helfant, President and COO of Marvel Studios, and Kevin Feige, Marvel Studio's President of Production, will lead Marvel Studios and its continuing development of a growing slate of feature films, television and other entertainment projects.

Mr. Helfant, an industry veteran with over 17 years of production experience, was recruited to Marvel last year to manage the expanded scope of studio operations; and Mr. Feige, recently appointed President of Production, has worked side by side with Mr. Arad for the past eight years during Marvel's impressive production run.

"I have helped to build Marvel into a very special company, and on the heels of the tremendous success of "X-Men: The Last Stand", I felt like it was the right time for me to move away from the day to day corporate responsibilities in order to focus on what I love best - creating and producing," said Mr. Arad.

Mort Handel, Marvel's Chairman of the Board, commented, "Avi has been a driving force at Marvel, and he and his team are credited with producing some of the highest grossing films in history, including this past weekend's blockbuster "X-Men: The Last Stand", "Spider-Man", "Hulk" and "Fantastic Four"."

Other recent Marvel films include "Man-Thing", "The Punisher", "Elektra" and "Daredevil".