AWA Studios has just announced the formation of a creative council to help them develop their comics slate, and it’s an all-star bunch: Oscar®, Golden Globe® and Emmy®-award nominated director, producer and screenwriter Reginald Hudlin (Sidney, Boomerang, Django Unchained); The New York Times #1 internationally best-selling author and screenwriter Gregg Hurwitz (Orphan X, Sweet Girl); acclaimed producer and screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis (Avatar, Terminator, Altered Carbon); blockbuster director Joseph Kosinski (Top Gun: Maverick, Oblivion, Tron); popular comedian, writer, actor, podcaster, and producer Al Madrigal (Lopez vs. Lopez, The Daily Show, Night School, The Way Back); and prolific TV creator and legendary comic writer J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Sense8, Thor).
An impressive line up! JMS, Hurwitz and Kosinski all have projects of various types cooking at AWA. So what will these visionaries do with AWA Studios? According to PR, they will “help shape the overall evolution of AWA’s creator-driven mission and continually redefine the cutting edge of storytelling. The Council’s guidance will benefit AWA’s roster of writers and artists by helping unleash the full potential of their characters and stories, providing a diversity of contemporary storytelling perspectives and putting projects in the best position to be scaled across the entertainment ecosystem.”
I’ve spent some time in writer’s rooms, and another way of putting this is “kicking some ideas around” – but it’s very useful kicking and that’s how you get things to the next level.
Or more formally, “At AWA, we are focused on building a next generation entertainment company that is laser focused on supporting creators by helping ground-breaking story ideas grow and scale to their fullest potential. Our Council members have exceptional achievements in Hollywood and share a powerful and personal connection to graphic fiction,” said Matthew Anderson, the co-chairman and president of AWA. “We’re honored to collaborate with and share in the Council’s collective wisdom and experience which will help AWA consistently develop powerful original packages along with our TV, film, and Web3 partners.”
According to their company info, AWA has been very successful at getting their properties into development, and doubtless the creative committee will help with all that. More PR below:
In just a few short years, AWA has established itself as an industry leader in terms of its relationships with established and emerging creators by providing writers and artists the freedom, incentive structure, and support to pursue their boldest, most original and socially relevant work. AWA’s film & TV studio helps its creators both grow their original ideas from buzzed about graphic literature into multi-faceted entertainment properties that stay true to their vision and retain a significant ownership stake in their creations. This approach has enabled the company to become one of the hottest comic publishers today, quickly surpassing over a million comics sold, while making its properties in demand in Hollywood. AWA Studios has more than 20 film and TV projects in active development, many in partnership with major studios, streamers and networks.
The Creative Council is a highly-differentiating component of the AWA business model. In addition to extensive industry experience and knowledge, several of the council members already have a special connection to AWA. Hudlin, Straczyinski and Hurwitz have been longtime collaborators and friends of AWA Chief Creative Officer, Axel Alonso. At Marvel, Hudlin and Alonso partnered on a new Black Panther comic arc that helped elevate the character into mainstream cultural relevance. Hurwitz is a prominent AWA creator with his original franchise NewThink garnering major attention. In addition to writing new AWA series, Straczynski has been the architect of an all-new, comic-fueled shared universe developed with today’s cultural landscape in mind. As part of The Creative Council, his work will allow interested creators to integrate their character creations into The Resistance Universe.
Kosinski has been at the center of AWA Studios’ first studio project: Chariot, an event feature film, based on the AWA graphic novel by Bryan Edward Hill that Warner Bros. secured after competitive bidding with Kosinski to helm, and 21 Laps producing in partnership with AWA. Kosinski also created the sci-fi action thriller feature film Oblivion, based on his original graphic fiction story. Meanwhile, Madrigal last year partnered with AWA to bring his original Latino superhero creation, Primos, to comic format.
Alonso added, “In only a few years, AWA has established itself as one of the hottest emerging players in the graphic fiction landscape. The reason for this is our ability to find and nurture creative talent and create an opportunity for them to develop their original ideas. This Creative Council provides our creators with another true-changing opportunity to work with a company that has unique insights in both the comic industry and who have generated tremendous success in Hollywood as well.”