Marvel Entertainment is partnering with Japanese animation studio Madhouse to create brand new characters inspired by the Marvel Universe for the Japanese market.
Working closely with Marvel, Madhouse will produce cutting-edge Japanese anime series based on Marvel's world-renowned character library for the Japanese market. The characters will be adapted visually, using the unique style of Japanese anime, and their back stories and histories will interweave the local culture and history of Japan, with an eye toward making their mythology more relevant to the Japanese audience. This collaboration will result in a completely new character base, which will eventually cross-over into the current Marvel Universe.
"Marvel has continuously looked to push the boundaries with the Marvel Universe and seek new mediums for our characters. Madhouse is helping us expand the Marvel brand with a truly global vision tailored to themes and artistic styles popular in Japan, creating a uniquely localized and cross-cultural adaptation of the Marvel Universe," said Simon Philips, President, International & Worldwide Head of Animation, Wireless & Gaming for Marvel.
Madhouse is currently in production on the first of four new series (12x30), which are scheduled to launch in spring 2010. The initial series will feature characters including Iron Man and Wolverine, among others, and Madhouse will ultimately look to adapt the entire Marvel Universe, creating in essence a whole new character base for Marvel.
"This will be the first time there will be a full Japanese anime style for Marvel, and the Madhouse creative team is fully engaged to bring this to a worldwide audience," said Jungo Maruta, president and CEO of Madhouse Inc.
The Marvel anime series will debut in Japan on ANIMAX, the first and largest 24-hour network dedicated to anime. Additionally, Marvel and Madhouse will be exploring related merchandising initiatives to support the new series.