Make Mine Marvel! Rubenstein to Head Marvel’s Online Video and Animation Group

May 8, 2008 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

Just to clarify: No, Glenn Rubenstein is not the luckiest 32 year old boy on the planet (I wish!).

Ira Rubenstein – no relation to me that I’m aware of – has been named as the head of the Marvel Global Digital Media Group, a new division of Marvel Entertainment that will build upon the company’s already-existing digital distribution efforts.

Last year, Marvel began offering digital versions of its comic books online to combat piracy by offering a legal, paid alternative for fans to obtain current issues of its series. That effort is now a part of the re-branded Marvel Global Digital Media Group, which will further aim to also expand the company’s digital endeavors.

This re-branding was heralded by the announcement of Ira Rubenstein’s place at the helm of the division – in a sense making Rubenstein the Silver Surfer to the MGDMG’s Galactus (if we were to make the appropriate Marvel reference). Rubenstein was previously an Executive Vice President at Sony Pictures Digital.

Here’s why I think what Marvel Entertainment is doing here has the potential to be insanely cool:

Marvel has over 5,000 characters in its universe. Sure, you’ve got the big ones, like Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, The Fantastic Four, The Punisher, Thor, Wolverine and the X-men, etc. These are the characters that you see in blockbuster films and their own animated series – (and if you even remotely enjoy superheroes or comic books and haven’t seen Iron Man yet, do yourself a favor and check it out).

But aside from the headliners mentioned above, there are also hundreds of other less famous characters that have very compelling stories and surprisingly strong fan followings – and maybe their profiles can’t justify the sizable investment necessary to headline their own major motion picture or television series…

This is where I see a plethora of opportunities for Ira Rubenstein’s Marvel Global Digital Media Group. According to the coverage I’ve seen, Rubenstein’s focus will be to explore new means of revenue across digital platforms, which will include obvious channels like video games, as well as others – including online animation and online video (and I’m assuming social media, since those Superhero RPG-like Facebook apps are all the rage).

So when I first saw this news mentioned on NewTeeVee (Vid-Biz: How-To, Hollywood, Marvel), which linked to the Paid Content story, Marvel Boosts Its New Media Strategy; Sony Vet Rubenstein Will Lead Global Digital Media Group, it was another one of my “Trask Radio” moments.

With lower production costs in the world of online video, and a huge library of interesting characters to tap into, am I the only one who sees the possibilities here?

In particular, given my background as a Lonelygirl15 writer-director, and as the creator and showrunner on my own online video series REDEARTH88… well, let’s just say that I have a pitch in mind for one of my all-time favorite Marvel comics. It’s a lesser known but well-loved title in Marvel’s current roster, and I think that it is perfect for an adaptation into its own online video series.

Okay, I’ve said too much! :P

As Stan “The Man” Lee would say:

Excelsior!

-

Glenn Rubenstein

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