Hot on the heels of their Best Picture Oscar win as the producers of the Daniels’ A24 breakout Everything Everywhere All at Once, Joe Russo and Anthony Russo’s AGBO has named Ryan Verniere as their new Senior Vice President of Story. The move follows the company’s early February appointment of Michael Disco as President of Film.
Verniere comes to AGBO after almost nearly a decade at League of Legends publisher Riot Games, where he rose through the ranks from Senior Writer to Creative Director for Franchises. In his new role, he will be part of the senior team developing original film and television IP for AGBO, ushering in a new era of fantasy and science fiction storytelling with an internal creative team led by Chief Creative Officer Angela Russo-Otstot.
“Ryan is an innovative worldbuilder of the highest order,” said AGBO’s Co-Presidents of Story, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. “He has both a deep well of esoteric knowledge and the storytelling skills to transform it into popular entertainment. His facility with mythology, character, and genre will make him an incredibly valuable addition to AGBO and all we’re trying to create.”
Verniere went on to say that he’s “spent the last two decades working on digital toys as a Geppetto of sorts. All my years as a narrative designer have uniquely prepared me for this opportunity. AGBO is an innovative company with passionate storytellers, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the team. Together we’ll bring new characters to life, and undiscovered worlds will manifest.”
While Verniere was initially focused in his time at Riot on games, he later pivoted to the company’s Film & TV department, where he worked alongside Jane Chung Hoffacker — the exec producer of its first animated series Arcane, which last year proved a chart-topper on Netflix and became the first video game adaptation to claim the Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program, notching four awards in total.
Verniere led the development of over forty League of Legends champions who appear in Teamfight Tactics, Legends of Runeterra and League of Legends: Wild Rift. He started his career in games working on CCP’s EVE Online, which in 2013 was inducted into The Museum of Modern Art in the Applied Design artistic category, as one of the first 14 video games added to the permanent collection alongside Pac-Man, Tetris, The Sims and more. Verniere is also known for creating the critically acclaimed Blackbirds RPG.
AGBO saw Everything Everywhere claim seven Oscars on Sunday night from a leading 11 nominations, notching the most wins of any film since 2013’s Gravity. The film starring Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu and Jamie Lee Curtis made Yeoh the first Asian winner of Best Actress, with Quan becoming just the second Asian winner of Supporting Actor. The film also broke ground last year as A24’s highest-grossing to date, having now netted over $106M globally, and its first title to cross the $100M mark.
The independent studio founded in 2017 by the Russos and Mike Larocca also recently released the Russo brothers-helmed action-thriller The Gray Man, starring Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans and Ana de Armas, which is the fifth most-watched film title in Netflix’s history. Upcoming projects include the international franchise-launching Amazon thriller series Citadel, starring Richard Madden, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Stanley Tucci, which is set to premiere on April 28; Netflix’s sequel to the Chris Hemsworth chart-topper Extraction, which premieres June 16; the streamer’s film The Electric State starring Millie Bobby Brown and Chris Pratt; and a ‘Butch and Sundance’ series for Amazon to star Regé-Jean Page and Glen Powell.