Derek Kolstad and Dmitri M. Johnson Launch Mike Goldberg Media Company

Derek Kolstad and Dmitri M. Johnson are teaming up to launch media company Story Kitchen, with APA partner Mike Goldberg leaving the agency to join the duo as co-founders of the new company.

Goldberg previously represented Kolstad and Johnson’s dj2 Entertainment during his time at APA. Goldberg clients should stay with the agency. Additionally, dj2’s Dan Jevons, Tim Stevenson and Howard Bliss will join Story Kitchen in leadership roles. All current dj2 projects will continue to be managed by Johnson and dj2, with new projects being managed by Story Kitchen.

According to Story Kitchen, the company will focus on “creating – and amplifying – ‘World-Building Action’ and ‘Non-Traditional Intellectual Property’. If everyone is a scene, Story Kitchen aims to be the Shakespearian leader in Gun-Fu, Popcorn-Fu and Controller-Fu.

“After spending the past few years working together and admiring each other’s chops, energy, taste and storytelling ideas, we have collectively come to the same conclusion: that the only way to double down on franchise prep and of the most amazing worlds possible – was for us to unite into one,” Kolstad, Johnson and Goldberg said in a joint statement.

Story Kitchen will be replaced by APA, Simon Pulman and Briana Hill at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard and Jennifer Levy at Behr Abramson Levy Johnson.

“Derek and Dmitri along with Mike defined how to create, popularize and expand the modern franchise across multiple platforms,” said APA President Jim Osborne and Chief Content Development Officer Kyle Loftus. “Their best is yet to come, so naturally we’re thrilled to represent Story Kitchen and help 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-directed film series. The fourth film is due out in March 2023, while prequel series “The Continental” recently moved to Peacock. He also wrote the action movie “Nobody” with Bob Odenkirk and worked as a screenwriter and co-executive producer on the series “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” at Disney+. He is currently working on an animated series “Splinter Cell” at Netflix as well as 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 intellectual property from various media including games, novels, and more. Johnson is executive producer of the upcoming “Tomb Raider” animated series on Netflix via dj2. Other projects include an Amazon movie “It Takes Two” with Dwayne Johnson producing, the Sterling K. Brown-directed action movie “Coyote Blue” with Kolstad writing, and more. He and dj2 also have a first-look deal on Amazon and a second-look deal on 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 of combining the television, film and intellectual property divisions into the scripted literary division. Besides 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.

Cathy W. Howerton