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Wattpad Webtoon ramps up output with hits like 'Sweet Home'

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In an era of reboots, remakes and sequels, Wattpad Webtoon aims to bring more original stories to Hollywood and combat the bloat of the franchise. Wattpad Webtoon Studios President Aron Levitz said: variety, the goal is to demonstrate the production banners and media platforms that loyal webcomic and series fans will coordinate with the TV adaptations of these titles. So far it’s working.

The webtoon-adapted K-drama Sweet Home and Wattpad-originated young adult film series The Kissing Booth are both on Netflix, giving the company an early push into Hollywood. And now, the recent hiring of David Madden, former president of Fox Entertainment and AMC Entertainment, as head of global entertainment, is another example of how the company is expanding its presence in the entertainment industry.

“Two massive IP libraries combined with a vast number of stories, and more than 166 million people around the world creating, interacting and engaging on our platform every month, make us better and stronger. Now,” said Levitz.

Together, Wattpad Webtoon Studios has over 100 on-screen and publishing projects in development or production. The studio division of Wattpad, the original story platform best known for its wide range of fanfiction, and Webtoon, the original webcomic platform, are being announced by South Korean internet conglomerate Naver.He plans to launch both platforms in May 2021. joined forces shortly after the acquisition of

By June, Naver pledged $100 million under its global multiformat studio umbrella to develop and produce fan and data-driven TV shows, movies and books.

“Traditional industries often don’t allow new names in storytelling,” says Levitz, who has been with Wattpad since 2017. Last summer, Wattpad and he were appointed to lead the merger of Webtoon’s studio division.

“It’s great to work with such a diverse group of writers around the world who tell the stories they want to tell,” said Levitz.

Wattpad Webtoon Studios’ story-to-screen projects already in production include Robbie Amell (‘Upload’) and Andrea Bang (‘Kim’s Convenience’) and ‘Float’ starring Lionsgate. “The QB Bad Boy and Me” stars TikTok sensation Noah Beck and his Creator Plus. ‘Perfect Addiction’ produced by Jeremy Bolt of JB Pictures and Robert Kulze of Constantin Film. ‘GremoryLand’ by Roy Lee’s Vertigo Entertainment. His webtoon comic “Lore Olympus” for The Jim Henson Company has been read by over a billion people.

Additionally, Wattpad Webtoon Studios is working with creative partners Paramount Global, Fremantle, Leone Film Group and more to produce more TV and film content.

Studio Umbrella has already seen its accomplishments by adapting Ariana Godoy’s Wattpad Spanish-language YA romance novel A través de mi ventana (“Through My Window”) for Netflix. The film, which stars Clara Galle, Julio Peña Fernández and Guillermo Lasheras, has been in the streamer’s top 10 global non-English movies for three months since its February 2022 premiere. Netflix has picked up the film for two more sequels that have already started filming.

Webtoon Entertainment CEO Ken Kim said: “By embracing that wave, we are bringing equality to creators around the world and making it a healthy and comfortable place for everyone. .”

Adapting Wattpad and Webtoon’s IP for streaming series and movies was a natural evolution for both companies.

‘The Kissing Booth’ has been adapted by Netflix into a movie trilogy starring Joey King, Jacob Eroldi and Taylor Zakhar Perez from Beth Leakless’ Wattpad novel of the same name, starting with the first installment in 2018. Based on Hulu’s “Light as a Feather”, a Wattpad thriller by Zoe Aarsen, produced by AwesomenessTV, Wattpad Studios and Gramnet, over his two seasons on the streamer from October 2018 to October 2019. Daytime earned him 10 Emmy nominations.

“Already millions of people are waiting to see the adaptation,” Kim added. It’s become a powerful content platform, and it’s driving a lot of adaptation.”

For example, Webtoon’s existing partnership with anime, manga, and drama distributor Crunchyroll will see highly rated shows based on titles on its platform, such as “Noblesse,” “The God of High School,” and “Tower of God.” produced.

Netflix’s post-apocalyptic K-drama ‘Sweet Home’ debuted in December 2020. Derived from Webtoon, “Sweet Home” was renewed for two more seasons after he was watched by 22 million subscribers in its first month of release. “Sweet Home” became the streamer’s first Korean original his series, trending in the US to enter the top 10 of his rankings (he peaked at number 3) and top 10 in over 70 countries. I went in.

“I believe there is power in interesting and creative stories,” said Kim, adding that audiences around the world will be able to create completely original content, including webtoons and animated, live-action shows and movies based on Wattpad’s extensive library. We pointed out that we are hungry for content.

By merging both studio divisions into one and leveraging fan loyalty, Kim and Levitz (along with legions of readers eager to see their favorite webcomics and stories come to life) will grow the company’s We believe we have unlocked the full Hollywood potential of our portfolio.

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