Sony Pictures and Wizard World Team Up to Option Creator IP!

Sony Pictures Teams With Wizard World to Develop Comic-Inspired Projects (Exclusive)

What this means is that SONY has access to the Wizard World shows to access and cultivate original intellectual property. How does this work exactly? Do creators attending the show have to agree to something in terms of being approached and solicited? Do they have to agree to consider an official offer by Sony for ____ amount of time before moving to another production company to produce their original IP?

I got the press release from the Wizard World PR team in my email and I read through this article and I'm honestly not certain of the specifics of how this will work and what it means....

So I came here!


  • Here's the official press release in full:


    CULVER CITY, Calif., February 12, 2018 – Wizard World, one of the country’s largest producers of fan conventions with over 500,000 visitors each year, has teamed up with Sony Pictures Entertainment to find the next generation of movies as well as to engage in a number of strategic initiatives, it was announced today by John D. Maatta, CEO of Wizard World, and Jeffrey Godsick, Executive Vice President, Brand Strategy and Global Partnerships, Sony Pictures Consumer Marketing, who will oversee the relationship for the studio.

    Wizard World and Sony Pictures will option and develop original IP. Wizard World attracts many of the country’s top artists and story creators as a showcase for their original work. Under the new deal, Sony Pictures and Wizard World will jointly discover top talent, optioning their work to incubate and develop these stories into various media.

    “We are always looking for new ways to find that next generation of great IP,” said Jonathan Kadin, Executive Vice President of Production for Sony Pictures, who will be involved in developing the new projects. “This deal gives us unique access to the incredible talent that Wizard World can bring to the table, putting us in a prime position to find the stories that break through the clutter.”

    Maatta stated: “Sony Pictures Entertainment is uniquely aligned as a studio with dominance in the motion picture, television, and electronics spaces. As Wizard World expands into a full spectrum media company from our roots in live exhibition, the partnership with Sony Pictures allows for an exceptional array of new opportunities and initiatives across many business extensions. It also creates a new and powerful voice in the pop culture.”

    Godsick stated: “As Wizard World continues to grow its brand across the globe, we see IP development as only the first step in the relationship. We will work with Wizard World to develop opportunities across several areas, including licensing, retail and location based entertainment. There are tremendously talented artists and storytellers presenting their properties at the conventions, and this relationship with Wizard World will afford us direct and early access to what might turn out to the next great idea for a film.”

    Wizard World Chairman Paul Kessler added: “Working with Sony Pictures to leverage our live events to create content and to enter into new business extensions will create an original and unique enterprise in the live event and entertainment space.”

    Wizard World board member Jordan Schur, who organized the venture by bringing Wizard World and Sony Pictures together, said, “With the alignment of Wizard World and Sony Pictures Entertainment, Wizard World takes the next step in its agenda to establish itself in the media business landscape. Transporting storytellers of tomorrow from Wizard World’s dominant film and TV driven fan convention business will be realized as Wizard World and SPE launch new content providers off the floors of Wizard World’s shows to the global screens of the world.”
  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 3,455
    From the press release I've not got a clue how this works.
    It sort of reads like Sony is going to be the only production company allowed to make film options at WizardWorld shows. I guess WizardWorld would get a finders fee and some production money/credit if the IP gets made.

    I wouldn't think that attending a WizardWorld show as creator would bind you to anything other than not being allowed to get an option from non-Sony during the convention.
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,629
    edited February 13
    It is an unusual one, at first glance, I agree.

    From my reading of the press release (which CGS received, too), and helped by some commentary and reporting on it from The Hollywood Reporter and Comics Beat it seems like a deal in which Sony is announcing that they are going to do some high profile IP scouting at Wizard World shows.

    This may mean that Sony execs will wander Artist Alley like the judges at a science fair, but more likely there will be something more visible and direct, like they will hold workshops or private sessions to exhibitors and attending artists to either get advice on pitching or actually pitch their work. Hopefully that will not be done in front of an audience, like a reality competition (though I would not put it past Wizard World to try to make for that kind of spectacle!)

    For WW, this creates a potential incentive to those they sell Artist Alley and Exhibitor spots to: That there is some sort of program in place that gives them a chance for Sony to consider their IP. That creators with a self-published book can imagine that a WW show is like having the film you financed yourself at a film festival like Sundance or SXSW, where you know there will be studios there shopping.

    And for Sony, if their hope is that they are going to find a comic book (who knows, maybe even a superhero) IP to scoop up and make, maybe part of the narrative they will want for promotion is the they went looking for an unknown, and then found something in the wild of a comic convention, and maybe they hope that will make for a PR hook and grass roots support. We'll see.

    But what I can be pretty certain of is that no part of this deal would bind attendees to have to give Sony the time of day, or give Sony any edge on bidding on an IP you bring to a Wizard show. I can't imagine them making that kind of deal. Rather, they are doing this to promote the idea that-- if you exhibit at a WW show-- some exec from Sony will be there, and may make your dream come true. I think that is the idea they are selling. And, likely, the people they would be selling that idea to are the ones who don't already have their IPs in business with anyone else already.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,627
    edited February 15
    All I can say is that however much Sony payed for this “privilege”, they paid too much.
  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 3,455

    All I can say is that however much Sony payed for this “privelige”, they paid too much.

  • matchkitJOHNmatchkitJOHN Posts: 1,013
    So Sony can't just fly out to a Wizard show or any comic convention and meet creators and hand them a card and say "Let's do business." What do they need Wizard for? I think @David_D is right that Wizard World will use this as a marketing tool to get creators to the show and charge a premium for booth space.
  • CageNarleighCageNarleigh Posts: 727
    edited February 13

    I think @David_D is right that Wizard World will use this as a marketing tool to get creators to the show and charge a premium for booth space.

    They don't already do that? Haha.

    I've got several friends in the local comic and geek industry here in Austin, TX who I NEVER see at Wizard World Austin. Nine times out of ten when I ask why they didn't have a booth or at least a table, they say, "Oh those prices are way too expensive." Which really sucks. You'd think one of the main benefits of a Wizard show coming to town is bringing both creators you know, and creators in your area, together in the same space.

  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,627
    edited February 13
    Everyone knows Wizard World is all about the comic book creators. ;)
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