LOS ANGELES: Marvel Studios’ founding chairman David Maisel is working on another multiverse, he revealed on the occasion of Iron Man’s 15th anniversary; the film that launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Maisel came up with the idea for Marvel to produce its own movies over a weekend in 2003, and pitched the concept to Marvel, getting hired to oversee its film efforts. He secured financing for a slate of movies and convinced Marvel to delay licensing its characters to other movie studios.
“Marvel was not what Marvel is now,” Maisel told The Hollywood Reporter. “No one believed in us for years.”
Now, Maisel is planning his next venture, called The Ekos Universe, which he describes as “Avatar meets Marvel.”
The universe will include live-action, animation, and gaming, and will be anchored by a series of Ekos films inspired by the work of late artist Michael Turner.
Maisel has hired a dozen staff, attracted millions from investors, and formed an advisory group that includes former Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada and Jeremy Latcham, ex-SVP of development and production of Marvel Studios.
Ekos gets its name from a 2003 comic from Turner and Geoff Johns. Maisel is not yet revealing the core concept behind the Ekos Universe, but it’s one he conceived during the pandemic.
“In a time when there are so many great films exploring the wonder and awe of multiverses and galaxies, Ekos will focus on the wonder and awe of this planet,” Maisel says, to give some idea of where he intends to go with it.
The stakeholders in Maisel’s new venture include Hybe, Ron Burkle, Nicolas Berggruen, Jim Breyer, Sfermion, Krafton, and Digital. The comics are at the heart of the Ekos Universe, but the films and TV shows will be their own thing. Maisel is also developing an animated Cupid movie voiced by Justin Bieber, which is separate from Ekos.