Lion Forge Animation, a Black-owned animation studio led by David Steward II, son of America’s second-richest Black man David Steward, has inked a million-dollar deal with Nickelodeon Animation, a subsidiary of Paramount Global.
The exclusive first-look deal, which follows Lion Forge’s plan to raise up to $50 million from investment companies of wealthy families and institutional firms, solidifies the company’s commitment to creating diverse content both in front of and behind the camera.
This deal encompasses various projects, including animated series, features, short-form content, and digital media. Additionally, there is a possibility for Lion Forge to develop and produce select projects based on Nickelodeon and Paramount IP.
Through the arrangement, and under the leadership of David Steward II, Lion Forge will also have the opportunity to co-finance projects that it brings to Nickelodeon while also serving as the animation studio for certain Nickelodeon projects.
Among the potential development projects covered by the deal are: “Born Driven,” a narrative inspired by Wendell Scott, the groundbreaking Black NASCAR driver; “Iron Dragon,” a comedic adventure based on original IP from Mostapes studio in South Korea and Lion Forge; and, “Marley and the Family Band,” an animated series co-produced by Polygram Entertainment, based on Cedella Marley’s picture book.
David Steward II, a staunch advocate for racial diversity in the entertainment industry, founded Lion Forge Animation in 2019 and holds ownership of comic book businesses through his holding company, Polarity.
With a net worth of $5.84 billion, the Steward family’s wealth primarily stems from their controlling stake in World Wide Technology, the largest privately-owned Black-owned business in the United States and a thriving cloud computing company.
David Steward, the father of David Steward II and a prominent U.S. technology billionaire, has been actively addressing racial inequalities through his business endeavors. Notably, World Wide Technology has sponsored Bubba Wallace, a Black NASCAR driver, as part of these efforts.