Michael Bay, teaming with John and Anthony Gentile, the creators of global toy and entertainment brands including Micronauts and Visionaries, has launched a new company that will specialize in developing intellectual property (IP) and transmedia brands.
451 Media Group will be funded through a large investment from China’s animation, toy and entertainment group Guangdong Alpha Animation and Culture Co., Ltd.
The new company was co-founded by Bay, the Gentiles and Douglas Nunes, who serves as the company’s chief operating officer.
“It’s a great opportunity to shape and develop entertainment properties that lend themselves to numerous platforms, an ability to cultivate franchises,” said Bay, whose latest film, Transformers: Age of Extinction, earned $1.1 billion worldwide.
Alpha Animation and Culture is also one of China’s leading toy manufacturers, distributing for Hasbro, Mattel and others. The investment in 451 Media will give Alpha key distribution and merchandising rights to 451 Media properties within China, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
451 Media, repped by WME, has already begun attracting the industry’s top tier talent by offering partnership arrangements that provide opportunities for revenue participation that writers and artists normally don’t receive. Scott Rosenberg (Con Air, High Fidelity), Skip Woods (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and author George Pelecanos (The Wire, Treme) have already signed with the company.
George Lee and Marcus Englefield of L.A.-based Storyoscopic Films, along with Richard Wong of Asia Action Entertainment, helped put together the deal between 451 and Alpha and will continue to be involved creatively.