Tuesday, September 06, 2005

How Many Enemies Can One Blog Have? Marvel Enterprises Says, "One More"

Variety reports:
Marvel has a new name and its first 10 pics in development.

With its $525 million debt facility from Merrill Lynch closed, company is changing its name from Marvel Enterprises to Marvel Entertainment, reflecting its new business producing and financing pics internally without a studio partner[...]

Though many of its best characters, from Spider-Man to X-Men to Iron Man, are set up for adaptations at studios, Marvel has identified 10 characters and groups it will develop as potential feature franchises to produce itself:

  • patriotic national defender Captain America
  • superhero team the Avengers
  • super-spy Nick Fury
  • African-American adventurer Black Panther
  • Ant-Man, who can shrink to insect size and communicate with ants
  • teenage embodiments of darkness and light Cloak and Dagger
  • mysterious wizard Dr. Strange
  • expert archer Hawkeye
  • Power Pack, a young group of sibling superheroes
  • martial arts expert Shang-Chi

Deal with Merrill allows Marvel to produce pics with budgets between $50 million and $165 million. If the first films are successful, Marvel will be able to replenish the facility to produce new pics in development or sequels to hits.

Company is hoping to release its first pic by summer 2008.

Marvel Studios topper Avi Arad, who is overseeing film development and production, said he had a number of writers and directors in mind to work with and will start making deals immediately now that the credit facility has closed.

"We are going to commission a lot of scripts and start the race to see which move quickest through development," Arad explained. "We are not significantly veering from what we have been doing with studios, but we now have the luxury of greenlight rights and better financial benefits. [Also, we've opted not to adapt the incredibly fine Excalibur series, despite its near-guarantee of box office success, as a retaliatory measure against those little blogging bitches at U.N. Spacy. They really need to let up on Jessica Alba. If only they'd seen the number she did on that shark! And honestly, is there really any debate about her being more approachable as a blonde?]"

Damn you, Avi. Damn you.

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