Although the Sway House is officially closed, a year after it was first formed, influencer mega-star Josh Richards –with over 24 million followers on TikTok alone- is far from done with the limelight. With a growing fan base online and a promising future, Richards has now taken another step into cementing his place in the books of success. Teaming up with Hollywood superstar Mark Wahlberg‘s Unrealistic Ideas, Richards has announced the launch of CrossCheck Studios with his business partner Michael Gruen.
What Happened to Sway House?
For a while, nothing dominated news of the influencer world quite like the Sway House. With huge names like Richards, Griffin Johnson, Bryce Hall, Jaden Hossler, Noah Beck, Blake Gray, Anthony Reeves, Kio Cyr, and Quinton Griggs, the Sway House made up a collection of some of social media’s biggest stars of all time. They all benefitted from the professional collaboration and were able to produce collaborative content through 2020 when other creators were limited by pandemic restrictions.
However, it’s possible that over time the boys would have become more infamous than famous as their antics became headline-making news about one bad decision after another. House star Hall was in hot water after hosting several massive parties during the height of the pandemic in Los Angeles, and an ill-fated cross-country roadtrip last spring inspired Richards to walk away from the House to focus on his career. However, Richards remained friendly with the House group and produced more content with them to great success.
But the Sway House’s time has come to an end. People reports, “[Sway House co-founder] Gruen says the group set out to ‘shatter the preconceived notion of what it means to be a social media star’ — a mission they believe they accomplished.
‘I’m proud of what Sway was. These guys are trailblazers. They proved that there is no limit to where being a social media star can take you,’ says Gruen. ‘Sway is a lifestyle and a mission and that’s something that will never change.’
‘But growth is important and they are each going in their own directions now,’ he adds. ‘It’s time to move on.'”
And Johnson added, “‘We had our fun in L.A. when we first came here,’ he continued. ‘We had this crazy amount of fame that just hit us really fast. And we had the typical L.A. time, where we just went wild, and we just decided we were over it. We were ready to make the pivot into something more.'”
Richards’, “something more,” is quite impressive.
Business Power Team of Wahlberg and Richards
Richards and business partner Gruen have announced today that they are teaming up with Wahlberg’s Unrealistic Ideas.
Their collaborative effort, known as CrossCheck Studios, is looking to meet a niche need for up and coming Gen Z talents. The Hollywood Reporter explains, “The new production company will focus on Gen Z content creators across all sectors of entertainment with an eye on becoming the go-to company for internet-native creatives. Per today’s announcement, the team has put together a slate of material that is being kept under wraps for now while, at the same time, scouting new projects. Richards, 19, tells The Hollywood Reporter that the content covers a range of genres and will likely kick off in the unscripted and docuseries space.
Unrealistic Ideas will support CrossCheck projects through development and production and help with staffing and other resources. For the new entity, Richards will serve as CEO with Gruen, Richards’ business partner, taking the title of president. In a statement as part of today’s news, Wahlberg said he’s looking forward to being in business with Richards and joining forces on CrossCheck Studios. ‘I am impressed with Josh and all of the things he’s already accomplished,’ he said.”
What the Future Holds for Richards
Richards announced the venture on Twitter and it was clear that’s he’s excited about his future.
19-year-old Richards shared, “When I first moved to LA to pursue this dream of a career, one of my goals was to meet @markwahlberg. I thought that was dreaming big. However, today, thanks to the hard work @Michaelgr1011 and I have put in, I am proud to call Mark a business partner!”
A lifelong fan of Wahlberg, Richards added, “Today’s announcement is nothing short of surreal for me. Take this away from it: 1) If you don’t dream, you can’t achieve! There’s still a long way to go, but if I can get this far, so can you. 2) We are open for business and want to become the #1 production company for GenZ.”
We’re excited to see what CrossCheck Studios has to offer and wish Richards luck on what is sure to be another successful opportunity.