Bruno Wu’s Seven Stars Entertainment is forming a joint venture with US producer Avi Arad (The Amazing Spider-Man, Iron Man) and his company Arad Productions, to develop superhero franchise properties.

The joint venture will develop live action features, animated TV series and digital content inspired by Chinese history and mythology. The first project, Rise Of The Terracotta Warriors, is based on an original story idea by Arad and inspired by the history and mythology behind the Chinese sculptures discovered in Xian, which were created to protect China’s first emperor in his afterlife.

“Avi is a copious producer of fantasy, superheroes and sci-fi as well as one of the world’s top toy designers,” said Wu. “I think it’s important to provide the next generation with role models and Avi is the ideal partner to bring this Chinese myth to life in a multi-media environment, including a major Chinese-US co-production tent-pole movie.”

Arad added: “Bruno and I share an affinity for Chinese history and culture and his knowledge will help guide me through this fascinating world of Chinese mythology. We are excited to introduce a new set of superheroes and other wonders of the world in a contemporary way to the Chinese youth and audiences around the world.”

Wu and Arad will serve as producers on the projects, with Alexandra Bland from Arad Productions as executive producer.  The deal was negotiated by Seven Stars Entertainment CEO Fred Milstein.

Arad founded Arad Productions in 2006 after departing Marvel where he served as the chairman and CEO of Marvel Studios and CCO of Marvel Entertainment.