Fremantle Graphic Novel Publisher AWA Studios Tied for Development Deal

Fremantle has entered into a strategic development agreement with AWA Studios, the film and television division of AWA (Artists, Writers & Artisans).

The agreement will allow Fremantle and AWA Studios to collaborate and co-develop a slate of television projects based on AWA’s expanding IP library. The graphic fiction publisher and entertainment studio was founded in 2018 by Marvel alumni Bill Jemas and Axel Alonso and Jon Miller.

As part of the pact, the two companies will collaborate closely on “all aspects” of the partnership, with Fremantle leading production fundraising and project development financing. Fremantle will also lead studio efforts and execute physical productions as well as international distribution for all projects launched.

AWA is backed by Lupa Systems, SISTER and James Murdoch’s Lightspeed Venture Partners. In early 2021, the company created AWA Studios, its film and television division, led by Hollywood veteran Zach Studin as chairman, who will oversee the partnership with Fremantle.

Since its launch in 2021, AWA Studios has launched a film adaptation of the graphic novel “Chariot” by Bryan Edward Hill, which was acquired by Warner Bros. with Joseph Kosinski (“Top Gun: Maverick”) attached to direct. Julian Meiojas (“Jack Ryan”) will adapt and 21 Laps (“Free Guy”) will produce in partnership with AWA.

The company’s roster of graphic fiction talent includes J. Michael Straczynski, Frank Cho, Mike Deodato, and Garth Ennis.

Studin, President of AWA Studios, said, “Fremantle’s unprecedented success in creating global hits and its commitment to artists makes it an ideal partner for AWA Studios. This cutting-edge partnership with Fremantle continues AWA Studios’ mission on behalf of our artists, writers and craftspeople – to bring their extraordinary stories to global audiences with world-class management. We look forward to building outstanding TV with Andrea Scrosati, Christian Vesper and the Fremantle team.

Vesper, President of Global Drama at Fremantle, added: “Creative freedom is at the heart of our DNA where we come together to stay as creatively free and interesting as possible, and deliver films and series that audiences can enjoy. will respond, making AWA Studios an ideal Fremantle partner. This partnership will be a major benefit to both of us, providing Fremantle with a unique opportunity to explore new ideas and original stories from exceptionally talented artists and writers – and in turn providing a creative home of significant scale where they will benefit from an approach.”

The deal is Fremantle’s latest offer to expand its creative partnerships around the world. Over the past year, the company has purchased 12 production labels in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark from Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group), Italian scripted production company Lux Vide (“Devils”, “Leonardo”), international development and production Fabel (“Bosch”), Australian-American television production company Eureka Productions (“Parental Guidance”, “Finding Magic Mike”) and British unscripted production company Label1 ( “Hospital”).

Fremantle recently became the majority shareholder of British independent Dancing Ledge Productions, the production company behind BBC hits ‘The Responder’ and ‘The Salisbury Poisonings’.

(Photo, L-R: Zach Studin, Christian Vesper)