Marvel Enterprises, Inc., a global entertainment licensing company, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with acclaimed France-based animation leader Antefilms Productions, to produce a brand new animated television series based on Marvel’s popular property, The Fantastic Four. Under the terms of the agreement, Antefilms will commence production immediately on 26, thirty-minute 2D/3D animated episodes. The initial episodes are expected to be completed for worldwide distribution in late-2006. The announcement was made by Avi Arad, Chairman and CEO Marvel Studios and Christophe Di Sabatino, Chairman of Antefilms Productions.
The deal, spearheaded by Marvel’s London office, will drive consistent, high-profile exposure and excitement for The Fantastic Four franchise worldwide. This is part of Marvel’s aggressive strategy to fully support its characters through feature films, DVDs, video games, merchandising and television animation.
The deal teams Marvel with an award-winning, cutting-edge 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. 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,” said Mr. Arad.
Bruno Maglione, President, Marvel International, added, “Marvel has ambitious plans in animation and we are interested in working with some of the top animation companies emerging out of Europe and Asia. We are especially impressed by Antefilms’ work and are delighted to have them on board for ‘The Fantastic Four’.”
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.
Christophe Di Sabatino, Chairman of Antefilms Production and Nicolas Atlan, Vice President and Executive Producer of Antefilms Production said: “We are very excited about helping adapt the adventures of ‘The Fantastic Four’ for television. Themes of honor, adventure, family and exploration are just as relevant for kids today as when the comics were first published and we are delighted to be working with Marvel to bring these Super Heroes to a new audience.”
The Antefilms deal is the latest major animation announcement between Marvel and a proven industry leader. Earlier this year, Marvel entered into a landmark agreement with Lion’s Gate Entertainment to produce and distribute a series of direct-to-DVD animated features starring some of the most popular characters from the Marvel Universe.
Source: Marvel Enterprises