In an attempt to take more direct control of its media presence, Dark Horse Entertainment announced late last week that it has partnered up with Vanguard Visionary Associates.
The new arrangement will “allow Dark Horse to fully finance development of properties from Dark Horse’s extensive content library as well as cultivate original ideas and acquire material for film and television, then co-finance the production of those projects,” according to the press release. The deal will also open new markets for Dark Horse brands in places like China.
“This new arrangement will allow us to accelerate our growth and extend our reach worldwide,” said Dark Horse CEO and founder Mike Richardson. “The deal will offer resources that will take our company to the next level. It will also present new opportunities for our employees as well as the talented content creators we work with.”
“We feel that by combining our efforts we will be able to enhance Dark Horse’s visibility internationally on the way to making it a leader in the film business, while also making its publishing and product offerings available to new fans around the world,” added Vanguard Visionary Associates Chairman Stanley Cheung.
Cheung will join Dark Horse’s board of the directors as the company seeks to bring more its intellectual property to other media venues. Its current roster of television and film adaptations include the upcoming Hellboy reboot feature film in 2019 and the Netflix series Umbrella Academy and Polar. A Syfy pilot based on Resident Alien is also in the works. The wealth of Dark Horse owned properties and its working relationships with top talent could result in a number of fantastic projects — indeed, the beloved Dark Matter first appeared as a Dark Horse Comic — but there are always potential pitfalls by adding a major new player into the game. Valiant Entertainment’s creative leadership was essentially replaced after a similar deal. Of course, without knowing the particulars of the deal, it is unclear if Dark Horse’s key directors are protected from such upheaval or if Vanguard will have a say in aspects of the business like US publishing. What is clear is Dark Horse’s desire to be a bigger brand across entertainment media and this is how companies begin a play at moving into big international markets.
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