‘John Wick’ Writer Derek Kolstad, dj2’s Dmitri M. Johnson Launch Media Company Story Kitchen With AP
L-R: Derek Kolstad, Dimitri M. Johnson, Mike Goldberg
Courtesy of Shannon Cottrell; Myles Lam; Myles Lam
Goldberg previously represented Kolstad and Johnson’s dj2 Entertainment during his time at APA. Goldberg’s clients are expected to stay with the agency. In addition, Dan Jevons, Tim Stevenson and Howard Bliss of dj2 will be joining Story Kitchen in senior leadership roles. All current dj2 projects will continue to be handled by Johnson and dj2, with new projects being handled by Story Kitchen.
According to Story Kitchen, the company will focus on “the creation -and amplification- of ‘World-Building Action’ and ‘Non-Traditional Intellectual Property’. If all the world’s a stage, Story Kitchen aims to be the Shakespearean leader in Gun-Fu, Popcorn-Fu and Controller-Fu.”
“After having spent the last several years working together and admiring one another’s storytelling chops, energy, taste, and ideas, we collectively came to the same conclusion: That the only way to double down on cooking up the most amazing Franchises and Worlds possible – was for us to unite as one,” Kolstad, Johnson, and Goldberg said in a joint statement.
Story Kitchen will be repped by APA, Simon Pulman & Briana Hill at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard, and Jennifer Levy at Behr Abramson Levy Johnson.
“Derek and Dmitri with Mike have defined how to create, popularize, and expand the modern franchise across multiple platforms,” said APA president Jim Osborne and head of content development Kyle Loftus. “Their best is yet to come, so naturally we are thrilled to represent Story Kitchen and assist them on their journey, which we know will be historic!”
Kolstad is best known for creating the “John Wick” film franchise, having penned the first three films in the Keanu Reeves-led film series. The fourth film is due out in March 2023, while the prequel series “The Continental” recently moved to Peacock. He also wrote the action film “Nobody” starring Bob Odenkirk and worked as a writer and co-executive producer on “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” series at Disney+. He is currently working on a “Splinter Cell” anime series at Netflix along with several other projects.
Johnson founded dj2, which is known for producing the two “Sonic the Hedgehog” films.
Johnson served as co-producer on both films. Johnson and dj2 are also in various stages of development on projects based on a variety of IP that comes from a variety of media, including games, novels, and more. Johnson is an executive producer on the upcoming “Tomb Raider” anime series at Netflix via dj2. Other projects include an “It Takes Two” movie at Amazon with Dwayne Johnson producing, the Sterling K. Brown-led action film “Coyote Blue” with Kolstad writing, and more. He and dj2 also secured a first-look deal at Amazon and a second-look deal at Legendary Television.
Goldberg has been with APA for nine years and was named a partner in 2019. While at the agency, he led the charge to combine the TV, film, and intellectual property divisions into the scripted literary division. In addition to representing Kolstad and Johnson, his other clients included John Carpenter, Atari, Sega, Square Enix, Macmillan, Andrews McMeel Publishing, and the New York Yankees. He was named one of “Hollywood’s New Leaders” by Variety in 2020.
Variety's Joe Otterson contributed to this post.