Marvel Enterprises Inc. and Lions Gate Ent. have entered into an agreement to develop, produce and distribute original animated DVD features based on characters from the Marvel catalog. Under the terms of the arrangement, Marvel and Lions Gate plan to start production immediately on eight original animated projects in either 2D or 3D, with the first title expected to be released by Lions Gate in late 2005.
The companies partnered earlier on the Lions Gate release a big-screen adaptation of Marvels THE PUNISHER. A sequel to the April 2004 film is in the works, as well as treatments of Marvels IRON FIST and BLACK WIDOW.
"More than $2 billion in DVDs based on Marvel characters have been sold and Marvel's animated television projects have been very successful, so this is a natural evolution for the company," said Avi Arad, chairman/ceo of Marvel Studios.
Lions Gate ceo Jon Feltheimer added, "This deal reflects the next chapter in our ongoing relationship with Marvel. The Marvel Universe maintains an outstanding and loyal fan base that craves fresh material featuring Marvel's Super Heroes. We're confident that we can take Marvel's extensive library of popular characters with compelling storylines and create action-packed, appealing animated made-for-DVD movies."
Lions Gate will provide Marvel with licensing fees for character rights and fund all of the development, production, distribution and marketing for each title while Marvel will spearhead creative development and production. After each animated project's home video window expires, the companies may exploit the movies in other entertainment media domestically and internationally including television and Video On Demand (VOD). Both companies will share in the profits from the venture.
Marvel will chose animation production partners from a roster of studios including Lions Gate's animation production partner, CinéGroupe. Each animated picture will have a minimum running time of 66 minutes. Specific Marvel titles and characters to be animated will be announced at a later date.
Lions Gate is a diversified independent producer and distributor of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment and video-on-demand content. Its prolific library of more than 8,000 titles is one of the largest in the entertainment industry. For further information on Lions Gate, visit www.lionsgatefilms.com.
Marvel Enterprises is a leading global character-based entertainment licensing company, with the world's largest character library of more than 4,700 properties. Principally focused on licensing, Marvel has talented creative teams in its Consumer Products (licensing), Marvel Studios, Marvel Comics and Toy Biz divisions. These divisions support the development of a broad range of entertainment (film/television/DVD), consumer products, toys, comics/trade paperbacks and promotions based on the Marvel characters. Visit www.marvel.com for more information.