FaZe Clan, Invisible Narratives Tee Up Cinematic Universe With FaZe Rug Feature
Gamer media company FaZe Clan is partnering with Invisible Narratives, a production company led by prominent Hollywood executives, to build a cinematic universe of interconnected feature-length projects, beginning with its most prominent creator, FaZe Rug.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to be in a movie, and I am beyond excited to share this moment with my fans, friends, and family,” said FaZe Rug (Brian Awadis) in a statement. “I am always trying to find new ways to be creative and entertaining, and this is the next step in my career.”
The feature’s debut is planned around Halloween, though Covid-19 issues are complicating whether it will have a theatrical debut, appear on premium video-on-demand or through some other initial distribution window, said FaZe Clan CEO Lee Trink.
Rug has 16 million YouTube subscribers, and another 11 million followers combined across TikTok, Instagram and Twitter, making him the most popular content creator in FaZe Clan’s stable of about 40, said CEO Lee Trink. The collective also runs several prominent esports teams and counts star rappers Offset and Lil Yachty among its members.
The project is the first in what’s envisioned to be a string of feature-length projects extending FaZe creators into longer-form media in a connected narrative universe. Invisible Narratives executives said the feature projects are designed to fill an audience niche that’s been neglected by traditional Hollywood for years.
“Hollywood is shifting to a business that’s about intellectual property,” said Invisible Narratives co-founder Adam Goodman, former president of DreamWorks and Paramount PGRE +3.8%’s Motion Picture Group. “But trying to find and acknowledge what’s relevant to young people is not something that’s easy to come by. (While at Paramount,) I bought the rights to Transformers in 2004, and everyone thought we were crazy at the time.”
But in the way that Transformers has since become a multi-billion-dollar franchise for Paramount, Goodman said online creators represent an equally important and underserved niche for teens and tweens now, especially in pop culture sectors such as gaming.
“I have kids, and in our house, FaZe is as meaningful as any movie star was back in the day,” Goodman said. “And so it just made sense that this is an audience that’s underserved. We just decided that this organization has this spectacular finger on the pulse of young people and how they’re watching entertainment right now.”
Goodman’s partner and co-founder Andrew Sugerman, who spent 12 years as Disney DIS +2.2%’s global head of digital studios and publishing, said, “We saw this opportunity to bring the world of Hollywood storytelling closer together with what we now see as the type of content and the type of individuals that Gen Z and younger Millennials and Alpha Gen Z are consuming. There’s a very large opportunity here to take what is (intellectual property), and build storytelling around those personalities and stretching those worlds into new places, introducing new characters, creating new situations.”
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Caption: Image of Faze Rug Courtesy of Faze Clan