The executive will work with James Cameron and Jon Landau’s company and Fox to build awareness on Avatar – the biggest release of all time – beyond traditional licensing and merchandising avenues.
Franklin will be based at Lightstorm’s Santa Monica headquarters. She previously served as vp of global studio franchise development for Disney Consumer Products and worked on such products as Cars and Toy Story. Prior to that she ran marketing and communications for all corporate philanthropic and charitable initiatives as vp of Disney Worldwide Outreach.
“Anticipating the exponential growth of the Avatar universe, we looked for someone who could lead a team that will cement Avatar as a world class brand across all platforms and markets,” Cameron said. “Kathy’s experience, coupled with her drive and vision for what Avatar can be, made her the right choice.”
“Bringing Kathy onboard at Lightstorm further reflects the unique creative and business relationship shared by Fox and Lightstorm on the Avatar franchise,” Twentieth Century Fox’s chief marketing officer Oren Aziz and chief creative officer Tony Sella said. “Jim Cameron created an amazing universe of mass appeal and we’re confident that with Kathy in place, this partnership will further capitalize on the tremendous opportunities inherent in this awesome property.”
“Kathy has proven herself to be a forward thinker who possesses the ability to bring new ideas to life,” Landau added. “With Kathy’s leadership, in collaboration with the team and infrastructure at Fox, I’m confident our franchises will grow in innovative ways that remain consistent with the quality and themes of our films.”
“From the beginning, Jim and Jon have viewed Avatar as a franchise whose storytelling has global reach and impact across multiple platforms. I look forward to leading this exciting new phase in the evolution of the franchise and to working with the team at Twentieth Century Fox to drive Avatar’s continued growth,” Franklin said.