BET Networks' newly-minted animation unit will join with Vin Diesel's One Race Prods. to produce HANNIBAL THE CONQUEROR, an animated series based on the life of Hannibal of Carthage, universally recognized as the greatest military leader in the history of the world. The project was jointly announced by Diesel and Reginald Hudlin, BET president of entertainment. One Race vp Samantha Vincent and Diesel will exec produce. Last January, BET announced the formation of BET Animation under the management of Denys Cowan, former producer of the hit animated series THE BOONDOCKS.
The series will span the life of Hannibal, from his tutelage as a warrior under his father, the king of Carthage, to his history-making invasions of Spain, England and his legendary scaling of the Alps with his army of elephants. He assembled an army from around the world to challenge the Roman Empire and his techniques and plans are still studied today.
"From my first week at BET, I have been pursuing this project," says Hudlin. "Vin Diesel brings great thought and passion to both character development and storylines, and we are pleased to be the first to be in the animation production business with Vin and One Race Productions. HANNIBAL will be epic storytelling."
"It only took Reginald Hudlin becoming president of entertainment for me to know that BET would be the perfect network to launch a HANNIBAL franchise, the story of the great African general who fought an empire," said Diesel. "Having worked passionately for ten years to develop a film property on Hannibal, this animated series will offer audiences a chance to begin to understand the larger-than-life mythology of this classic figure."
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. is the nation's leading provider of entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 81 million households according to Nielsen media research, and can be seen in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.