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Madhouse to Animate Highlander Feature

Davis-Panzer Prods. and Imagi Intl. have tapped TOKYO GODFATHER production house Madhouse to produce a planned HIGHLANDER animated feature. HIGHLANDER TV series head writer David Abramowitz is set to write the script. Supervising the production will be associate producers Kevin Eastman (HEAVY METAL 2000) and Joe Pearson. Peter Davis and William Panzer are set to produce, with Thomas K. Gray and Galen Walker exec producing. The film should be complete in spring 2006.

"Kevin Eastman and I are very excited to be working with Imagi Intl. and Davis-Panzer Prods. on this project," said Pearson. "For years, we've been developing and pushing the concept and market potential of feature length, teen/adult animation that would be done in a blend of American and Asian styles and sensibilities. To cut our teeth on a project like HIGHLANDER: VENGEANCE, is literally a dream come true. The HIGHLANDER franchise is a heroic fantasy property of epic proportions and one that is perfect for an adaptation into animation. All the principles involved are deeply invested in the property and we're all pretty thrilled to be taking it in this new direction. Working with a great writer, like David Abromowitz on the treatment has produced a story that is true to the HIGHLANDER mythos, but that takes it in some powerful new directions. As you can tell from the title, HIGHLANDER: VENGEANCE is not going to be a G-rated family film. It will be a gusty, powerful story of love, hate, and redemption that will take our HIGHLANDER, Colin Mcleod, throughout time, past, present and future.

We are also really fortunate to have the opportunity to be doing this production at Madhouse in Tokyo. They are, without a doubt, one of the top, top animation houses in the world with a terrific track record of cutting edge animation. The Madhouse-style and approach is prefect for HIGHLANDER. Kevin and I have been decades long fans of their work, and cannot wait to see what they'll come up with. Imagi/Davis-Panzer are currently in discussions with one of Japan's top director/producers to determine if he'll come on board. He is a prefect match for this property and will lend it his own, unique stylization and story sense.

Teen/adult animation, produced, for a world audience is an idea whose time has come. The financial and creative success of ANIMATRIX proved that. We're happy to be a part of this great, new wave in animation."

Artist, writer, producer, publisher Kevin Eastman is one of the co-creator's of the TEENAGE MUTANT TURTLE. Joe Pearson is an artist, writer and producer with more then 20 years experience in the animation industry. Eastman and Pearson founded Heavy Metal Entertainment in 2003 with the intent to create, produce and distribute a series of animated, teen/adult, home video features under the Heavy Metal banner and are currently seeking funding for their first slate.

Imagi is the production studio behind DreamWorks new 3D series, FATHER OF THE PRIDE. The HIGHLANDER series chronicles the evil-fighting adventures of an immortal 16th century Scottish warrior, who lives in modern times.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
Creator of Rick's Flicks Picks