Wattpad Webtoon Ramps Up Its Output With Hits Like ‘Candy House’
In a time of reboots, remakes and sequels, Wattpad Webtoon is aiming to deliver extra authentic tales to Hollywood and counter that franchise bloat. As Wattpad Webtoon Studios president Aron Levitz tells Selection, the objective is to point out manufacturing banners and media platforms that loyal webcomic and collection followers will tune in to their TV diversifications of these titles. And to date, it’s working.
The Webtoon-adapted Ok-drama “Sweet Home” and Wattpad-originated younger grownup movie collection “The Kissing Booth,” each on Netflix, has given the corporate an early increase in making Hollywood inroads. And now, the recent hire of former Fox Leisure and AMC Leisure president David Madden as head of worldwide leisure is one other instance of the corporate’s transfer to additional ramp up its leisure trade presence.
“We’re higher and stronger with two large IP libraries, united with tons of tales and over 166 million folks world wide coming to create, work together, and have interaction on our platforms month-to-month,” Levitz mentioned.
Mixed, Wattpad Webtoon Studios has greater than 100 on-screen and publishing initiatives in improvement or manufacturing. The studio division of Wattpad — the unique story platform greatest identified for its big range of fanfiction — and Webtoon, the unique webcomics platform, joined forces quickly after South Korean web conglomerate Naver acquired each platforms in Could 2021.
By June, Naver had dedicated $100 million to the worldwide multi-format studio umbrella to develop and produce fan and data-driven TV reveals, movies, and books.
“Typically, the standard trade doesn’t permit new names in storytelling to come back by way of,” mentioned Levitz, who had been with Wattpad since 2017. The exec, who centered on democratizing how new literary expertise was being found and supported inside the corporate, was tapped to move the merger of Wattpad and Webtoon’s studio divisions final summer time.
“It’s fantastic that I can work with a various set of writers from world wide who’re telling the tales they need to inform,” Levitz added.
Wattpad Webtoon Studios’ story-to-screen initiatives already in manufacturing embrace “Float,” starring Robbie Amell (“Add”) and Andrea Bang (“Kim’s Comfort”) with Lionsgate; “The QB Dangerous Boy and Me” starring TikTok sensation Noah Beck with Creator Plus; “Excellent Dependancy,” produced by Jeremy Bolt at JB Photos and Constantin Movie’s Robert Kulze; “GremoryLand” with Roy Lee’s Vertigo Leisure; and “Lore Olympus,” a Webtoon comedian learn by over a billion folks, with The Jim Henson Firm.
As well as, Wattpad Webtoon Studios has extra tv and film content material cooking with inventive companions Paramount World, Fremantle and the Leone Movie Group, amongst others.
The studio umbrella has already seen the fruits of its labor with the variation of Ariana Godoy’s Wattpad Spanish-language YA romance novel “A través de mi ventana” (“By means of My Window”) on Netflix. Starring Clara Galle, Julio Peña Fernández, and Guillermo Lasheras, the movie soared to the streamer’s High 10 rank of non-English world movies for 3 months after its February 2022 premiere. Netflix picked the film up for 2 extra sequels, which have already begun filming.
“Authentic content material has swelled with the evolution of the Web and the cellular format,” mentioned Ken Kim, chief government officer of Webtoon Leisure. “By embracing that wave, we have now created fairness for creators all over the place and have made it a wholesome and cozy place for everybody. That variety has been the origination of market acceptance.”
Adapting IP from Wattpad and Webtoon into streaming collection and films was a pure evolution for each firms, every of which had already efficiently dipped into the stories-to-screen house individually.
“The Kissing Sales space,” was tailored by Netflix into a movie trilogy starring Joey King, Jacob Elordi, and Taylor Zakhar Perez from Beth Reekles’ Wattpad novel of the identical identify, beginning with the primary installment in 2018. Hulu’s “Mild as a Feather,” based mostly on the Wattpad thriller by Zoe Aarsen and produced by AwesomenessTV, Wattpad Studios and Gramnet, was nominated for ten Daytime Emmy Awards over its two-season stretch on the streamer between October 2018 and October 2019.
“There are already hundreds of thousands of people who find themselves ready to look at diversifications,” Kim added. “I feel that’s a part of the content material evolution that may proceed to occur. In Asia, we’ve already turn out to be a well-known content material platform with a serious push for adaptation.”
Webtoon’s present partnership with anime, manga and dorama distributor Crunchyroll, as an example, has birthed highly-rated reveals based mostly on titles from its platform, similar to “Noblesse,” “The God of Excessive Faculty” and “Tower of God.”
Netflix apocalyptic Ok-drama “Candy House” debuted in December 2020. The Webtoon-originated “Candy House” was renewed for 2 extra seasons after 22 million subscribers considered it within the first month of its launch. “Candy House” turned the streamer’s first-ever authentic South Korean collection to make it to the High 10 trending ranks within the U.S. (peaking, at one level, at No. 3) and was within the High 10 in over 70 international locations.
“I feel there’s energy in tales which might be attention-grabbing and inventive,” Kim mentioned, noting that viewers worldwide are hungry for wholly authentic content material, whether or not that be animated or live-action reveals and movies based mostly on Webtoon or Wattpad’s in depth libraries.
Kim and Levitz (together with the legions of readers desperate to see their favourite webcomic or story come to life) consider that integrating each studio divisions into one and leveraging fan loyalty has unlocked the complete Hollywood potential of the corporate’s portfolios.