FANTASTIC FOUR ANIMATION
Marvel Enterprises announced on Wednesday it has entered into an agreement with France-based animation studio Antefilms Productions, to produce a new animated television series based on The Fantastic Four.
Under the terms of the agreement, Antefilms will commence production immediately on 26, 30-minute 2D/3D animated episodes. The initial episodes are expected to be completed for worldwide distribution in late-2006.
The deal teams Marvel with an animation company with proven success both domestically and internationally. Two of Antefilms' current series - Code Lyoko and Funky Cops - are currently broadcast successfully on Cartoon Network and Fox Box, respectively, in the United States.
"Marvel is firmly committed to strongly support its characters in all relevant entertainment arenas throughout the world," Marvel's Avi Arad said. "We are especially excited that The Fantastic Four TV animation will follow the release of our 2005 feature film with 20th Century Fox, and that we are able to work with such a great animation company as Antefilms to make this happen."
Under the terms of the agreement, Antefilms Productions will fund all of the development costs for the series. Antefilms will produce the content while both companies will oversee the overall creative direction. Marvel will control the U.S. television and subsequent DVD distribution rights, while Moonscoop (Antefilms' distribution brand) will handle sales in the rest of the world.
WOLVERINE MOVIE IN WORKS
Troy screenwriter David Benioff has been hired to write a script for a Wolverine movie for 20th Century Fox, Variety is reporting.
Hugh Jackman, who played Wolverine in the first two X-Men movies, is expected to reprise the role.
The film will be developed while preparations are also made for the third X-Men movie. It was announced late last week that Simon Kinberg is writing the X3 script.
Ironically, Jackman wasn't the origin choice for Wolverine. He replaced Dougray Scott after Scott had scheduling conflicts with Mission: Impossible 2.
Jackman soon made the character his, and X-Men was successful enough to spawn a sequel, which outgrossed the first movie at the box office.
"I like X-Men 1, but I think the second movie was even better," Jackman said. "I felt like I owned the character more."
Benioff, 34, also wrote the screenplay for the movie adaptation of his novel 25th Hour.