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Biography #2 (for Elektra)Avi Arad is President and CEO of Marvel Studios, and the chief creative force responsible for bringing Marvel Comics' characters to life on the big screen. He has worked with many of Hollywood's most prestigious directors, writers, producers and studio executives to supervise the transition of Marvel characters to live-action and animated feature films.
Arad served as executive producer for Spider-Man, the record-breaking, worldwide phenomenon starring Tobey Maguire as the beloved webslinging Marvel superhero. Directed by Sam Raimi and starring Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Willem Dafoe and James Franco, Spider-Man became the fifth highest grossing movie in U.S. history.
The highly anticipated sequel, Spider-Man 2, reunited director Raimi with Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco, and also starred Alfred Molina as Doc Ock. Like the first film, Spider-Man 2 was a huge box-office success, and Spider-Man 3 is now in development.
Next up for Arad is Fantastic Four, which Twentieth Century Fox releases July 2, 2005.
Arad produced The Hulk, based on the renowned Marvel comic series, and directed by Oscar winner Ang Lee. The Hulk starred Eric Bana as the brilliant and troubled scientist Bruce Banner, and Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly as his girlfriend, researcher Betty Ross.
Arad produced the box-office smash X2, which reunited director Bryan Singer with stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Halle Berry from the film's predecessor, the boxoffice hit X-Men, for which Arad was Executive Producer. Arad's slate of recent box-office successes also includes the smash hit Daredevil, starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner and Colin Farrell, for which Arad served as a producer. Currently, Arad's live-action feature slate includes Ghost Rider, Namor, Iron Man, and Werewolf by Night. He began the Marvel movie franchises with Wesley Snipes in the films Blade and Blade II, with New Line Cinema.
Arad executive produced Marvel's full slate of animated television series, including Spider-Man and 'X-Men," two of the highest rated kids' shows appearing on Fox Kids Network, as well as Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, Iron Man and Silver Surfer. Before joining Marvel, Arad's credits in animation included Conan the Adventurer, King Arthur & the Knights of Justice, Double Dragon and Bot Master.
For live action television, Arad created and executive produced the high rated Mutant X. For live television, Arad executive produced the telefilm Generation X and Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Arad is a long established expert in youth entertainment. He is one of the world's premiere toy designers and producers of children's programming and the primary creative force responsible for bringing Marvel Comics' characters to life in toys, film and television. He has been involved in the creation and development of dozens of entertainment products, including action figurines and playsets, dolls, vehicles, electronic products, educational software and video games. Arad has also developed TV animation properties designed to combine entertainment and toys with companies such as Toy Biz, Hasbro, Mattel, Nintendo, Tiger and Sega.
When Marvel Entertainment Group acquired an interest in Toy Biz in April 1993, Arad entered into an arrangement with the New York City-based entertainment conglomerate to devote his time exclusively to Toy Biz and Marvel Studios. As a Director and Principal of Toy Biz and President of Marvel Studios, Arad continues to oversee the design, development and approval of Toy Biz products from initial concepts through final packaging, advertising and merchandising strategies, and he has been instrumental in the company's expanding presence as a major force in the licensing arena, acquiring the master toy rights to brand names and properties outside the Marvel universe. As of October 1, 1998, Toy Biz acquired Marvel Entertainment and united the companies under the name Marvel Enterprises.
Bio courtesy Fox for "Elektra" (30-Jan-2005)