Marvel Studios co-founder and Justin Bieber manager (!) launching movies based on Aspen Comics

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Mar 27, 2018

More comics-based movies may be coming to the screen... from a very unlikely duo.

David Maisel, who founded Marvel Studios, raised the financing for its initial slate of movies, and facilitated its sale to Disney, has teamed with music manager Scooter Braun -- who oversees the careers of Justin Bieber, Kanye West, and Ariana Grande -- to launch Mythos Studios, a new company that intends to make live-action and animated films based on either existing properties or original ones, largely within the comic book realm.

And it looks like they're starting off with an in-house supply: According to Deadline, Mythos has purchased a 50% stake in Aspen Comics that includes the rights to adapt that company's properties for the screen, including Fathom, Soulfire, and others created by Aspen's late founder, Michael Turner, the renowned artist who died in 2008 of cancer at the age of 37.

Fathom, about a female marine biologist named Aspen Matthews (from which the Aspen Comics name is derived) who discovers she is from a race of underwater superbeings, and Soulfire, about a boy who sets out on a quest to bring magic back to the world in a far future dominated by technology, are already in active development at Mythos. Maisel and Braun are looking to secure financing and distribution partners for both titles (Megan Fox was at one point looking to star in a Fathom movie that never happened).

Although Braun seems like a strange choice to head a company making comics-based movies, he told the New York Times that he is in fact a massive comic book fan, especially of Superman and the X-Men. But then he turned to music management as a career, although he also produced the 2014 film version of the young adult sci-fi novel The Giver.

As for Maisel, he convinced Marvel head Isaac Perlmutter in 2003 to have the company retain its characters and start financing its own movies, arranging a $525 million bank loan and starting things off in 2008 with Iron Man. What followed, of course, changed movie and comics history, with Maisel becoming Marvel Studios chairman in 2007 and guiding its $4 billion sale to Disney in 2009. He left the company in 2010 and has since produced The Angry Birds Movie, an animated hit based on the popular mobile game.

Mythos is going to be based out of Los Angeles and is currently staffing up and looking for more material to adapt, while also developing Fathom and Soulfire. But is there room for yet another comics-based universe of films in an already crowded marketplace? And will we see Justin Bieber in spandex and a cape at some point?