Avi Arad is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Marvel Studios, the film and television division of Marvel Entertainment, and Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment. Mr. Arad has been the driving force behind Marvel's Hollywood renaissance with a track record that has been nothing short of spectacular, including a string of eight consecutive No. 1 box office openings. As an executive producer and producer, his credits include Spider-Man and its sequel, Spider-Man 2 (Columbia Pictures), which set an industry record for opening day box office receipts; X-Men and X2: X-Men United (Twentieth Century Fox); The Hulk (Universal Pictures); Daredevil (New Regency); The Punisher (Lions Gate Entertainment); Blade, Blade II and Blade: Trinity (New Line Cinema); Elektra (Twentieth Century Fox); and The Fantastic Four (Twentieth Century Fox). Mr. Arad's current live-action feature film slate includes the highly anticipated May 2006 release of X3 (Twentieth Century Fox), as well as Ghost Rider (Columbia Pictures), Spider-Man 3 (Columbia Pictures) and Fantastic Four 2 (Twentieth Century Fox) -- all slated for 2007.
Complementing the current studio relationships, Mr. Arad is also overseeing MVL Film Finance LLC, Marvels independently financed film slate arranged with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith. Through the film fund, Mr. Arad will be developing and producing films in-house based on ten renowned Marvel characters such as Captain America, Nick Fury, Ant-Man and Dr. Strange.
Complimenting Marvel's feature film line-up, Mr. Arad is also overseeing Marvel's aggressive animation plans. Marvel Studio's in currently in development with leading animation studio Antefilms on a Fantastic Four television series expected to launch in 2006. Additionally, Marvel has teamed with Lions Gate to develop a high-quality line-up of animated productions specifically for the DVD market. The first title, based on The Avengers, was released in February 2006.
Born in Cyprus and raised in Israel, Mr. Arad came to the United States during his college years and enrolled at Hofstra University to study industrial management. He earned a bachelor of business administration from the University in 1972. A long-established expert in youth entertainment, Mr. Arad is one of the worlds top toy designers. He has been involved in the creation and development of over two hundred successful products, including action figures, play sets, dolls, toy vehicles, electronic products, educational software and video games. In fact, virtually every major toy and youth entertainment manufacturer, including Toy Biz, Hasbro, Mattel, Nintendo, Tiger, Ideal, Galoob, Tyco and Sega, has been selling his products for more than 20 years.
When not working as a producer, Mr. Arad can be found riding his Harley-Davidson. His enthusiasm for the motorcycle inspired him to become a successful restaurateur. He founded and still owns the Harley-Davidson Cafe in Las Vegas.