Disney’s Marvel Entertainment is extending its superhero franchises — including Black Panther, Thor, Black Widow and Jessica Jones — with a new twist on serialized fiction.
Marvel inked a pact with digital book startup Serial Box, under which the companies will collaborate to create original stories designed for consumption on smartphones in either audiobook or e-book format.
Thor, the hammer-wielding Norse god, will be the subject of the first Marvel project to launch on Serial Box, slated to debut in the summer of 2019. The Thor writing team is led by Aaron Stewart-Ahn, who co-wrote the screenplay for 2018 horror film “Mandy” with director Panos Cosmatos. Other writers enlisted for the Thor series include Brian Keene, Jay Edidin and Yoon Ha Lee.
“Over the last 80 years, Marvel has grown to become a lifestyle for every kind of fan around the world — but it all started from serialized storytelling,” Marvel publisher John Nee said in a statement. “We were impressed by the quality and creativity of Serial Box’s content, and we are excited for both Marvel and Serial Box fans to experience these new stories together each week.”
Serial Box said it will tap its roster of authors to craft the new adventures for the Marvel Universe. The company describes its approach as akin to TV — with new chapters of its serialized stories released every week, in “seasons” that typically run for 10-16 weeks. The first chapter is free; subsequent episodes cost $1.99 each or users can buy a season pass at an average price of $13.99.
“We are thrilled that Marvel is entrusting us to extend and expand the story worlds for these beloved characters,” said Molly Barton, CEO and co-founder of Serial Box. “Our writer teams could not be more excited to share the new stories with listeners and readers everywhere.”
Serial Box currently offers 19 serialized stories, which include “False Idols,” “Tremontaine,” “ReMade,” “1776,” “The Witch Who Came In From the Cold” and “Bookburners.”
Founded in September 2015, New York-based Serial Box raised $1.6 million in 2017 from investors including Canada’s Boat Rocker Media and individual investors including Richard Sarnoff, former chairman of Bertlesmann, and Mattias Lundgren, CEO of Sweden’s Word Audio Publishing.
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