MWM Announces Investment in Wonderstorm
The Studio Will Create Franchises for Film, Television, and Games
Los Angeles, CA (November 30, 2017) – MWM, (formerly Madison Wells Media) a diversified entertainment and media company co-founded by Gigi Pritzker and Clint Kisker, announced today that they have become founding investors in and partners with Wonderstorm, a newly-formed “story and play” studio that focuses on television animation and video game production. Through this transaction, MWM will executive produce television and gaming projects on Wonderstorm’s development slate while partnering with Wonderstorm to develop and produce content in other mediums derived from the slate, such as film, live events and immersive (VR/AR).
“The Wonderstorm team is exceptionally talented at franchise building and creating outstanding animated TV and interactive content,” said MWM co-founders Gigi Pritzker and Clint Kisker. “We believe in them and are excited to help them launch this new chapter.”
Founded in 2016 by former creative leaders from Riot Games, Aaron Ehasz, Justin Richmond, and Justin Santistevan, Wonderstorm’s goal is to build lasting franchises by combining world-class storytelling and deep, engaging gameplay. The company is currently partnering with Netflix to create and produce a Netflix Original animated series, which will debut in late 2018. Wonderstorm is also building a AAA-quality video game set in the same world as the series.
“We feel lucky to have MWM as our founding investor,” said Aaron Ehasz, CEO and Co-Founder of Wonderstorm. “We’re inspired and energized by their forward-thinking vision in media, and their empowering approach to partnership.”
Prior to co-founding Wonderstorm, Aaron Ehasz was the Creative Director of Riot Games, which develops and publishes the biggest video game in the world, League of Legends, serving tens of millions of daily players and earning billions of dollars in revenue. Ehasz also served as co-executive producer and writing showrunner of the critically acclaimed animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, where he earned a Peabody Award and an Emmy-nomination for his outstanding production and writing.
Prior to his role as Executive Producer and Co-Founder of Wonderstorm, Justin Richmond led a game development team at Riot Games. Before that, Richmond served as the Game Director of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series, one of Sony’s most iconic game franchises which has won 17 DICE Awards and 5 BAFTA Awards. Preceding his role as President and Co-Founder of Wonderstorm, Justin Santistevan was the Head of Finance for Research and Development at Riot Games, where he was responsible for strategically investing in new games and media expansions.
The transaction was negotiated for MWM by Steve Tsoneff, MWM’s General Counsel and Head of Business Affairs, and Rob Ogden, MWM’s EVP Strategic Planning and Corporate Development, with assistance from Latham & Watkins, and for Wonderstorm by Justin Santistevan with assistance from Greenberg Glusker.
MWM was founded by Emmy Award-winning producer, Gigi Pritzker in partnership with Clint Kisker in 2015 and was named one of Fast Company’s Top Ten Most Innovative Companies in Hollywood for 2017.
The company empowers talent to create bespoke storytelling across film, TV, immersive VR/AR content and in live theater, including 2016’s Golden Globe and Academy Award Best Picture nominated Hell or High Water, Tony award winning musical Million Dollar Quartet, and Emmy Award nominated and Ron Howard directed television drama Genius (Fox21, NatGeo April 2017), as well as Jon Favreau’s magical Gnomes & Goblins VR universe, winner of Best Overall Experience at Cinequest 2017, which the company created in partnership with Wevr.
MWM currently consists of three individually branded operating divisions: MWM Studios (film/TV), MWM Live (live theater) and MWM Immersive (immersive media). MWM is also a strategic investor, with a portfolio of minority holdings in companies including STX Entertainment, Wevr, Fandor, Atom Tickets, The Void and Wonderstorm.
Founded by former creative leaders from Riot Games, Aaron Ehasz, Justin Richmond, and Justin Santistevan, Wonderstorm is a “story and play” media studio that creates and develops film and television in conjunction with AAA-quality video games. Wonderstorm is currently building a Netflix Original animated series and a deep, engaging video game – both from the same world and vision.
Wonderstorm executives have produced and developed award-winning, premier media content for both TV and games, including Avatar: The Last Airbender, Futurama, League of Legends and the Uncharted series. These franchises continue to resonate with millions of viewers and players worldwide.