[ENGLISH] NEW YORK, March 18 — Nicktoons Network, Nickelodeon’s 24-hour animation channel, has joined forces with Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: MVL – News), to bring iconic heroes Wolverine and Iron Man from the page and big screen to television in two brand-new animated series, « Iron Man: The Animated Series » (a co-production with French based Method Films) and « Wolverine and the X-Men » (a co-production with Toonz Entertainment Pte Ltd., Singapore and First Serve International Ltd.). Debuting exclusively on Nicktoons Network in first quarter 2009, Wolverine and the X-Men and Iron Man each feature 26 action-packed, half-hour episodes that follow the respective heroes through dynamic action, adventure and drama as they face foes both familiar and new to their fans.
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« Nicktoons Network is first and foremost about showcasing the most creative and unique animation there is, and this partnership with Marvel is another crucial way to super-serve our audiences with something fresh and new, » said Keith Dawkins, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Nicktoons Network. « The fact that these Marvel characters span books, feature films and TV speaks to their massive appeal. We hope this deal signals to the marketplace and our audience, particularly boys, that we are the home for big hits and exciting, adrenaline-fueled animation. »
« Nicktoons has a reputation for delivering some of the highest quality animation programming to the youth entertainment market, and Marvel is thrilled to be joining hands with such a dynamic channel, » said Eric Rollman, Executive Vice President, Animation & Television for Marvel Studios. « Marvel is uniquely positioned to bring two shows with incredible brand momentum and awareness to this partnership, and we look forward to being in business with Nicktoons to launch this programming. »
Wolverine and the X-Men (26 half-hour eps):
The story begins as an explosive event shatters the lives of the X-Men and takes away their mentor, Professor X. The beaten heroes, including Beast, Storm, Cyclops and Nightcrawler, walk away from it all but then they are given a rare glimpse into the future, where they see a world in utter ruin … ruled by giant destructive robots. They discover the world has spiraled out of control because the X-Men have given up. So now the most legendary of all X-Men, Wolverine, must take the lead on the ultimate mission — to prevent the world’s destruction — while fending off enemies Magneto and The Brotherhood.
Iron Man: The Animated Series (26 half-hour eps):
Tony Stark, heir to a billion-dollar corporation, lives a life of luxury, free to pursue his chief interests — seeking extreme thrills, solving scientific mysteries and creating mind-boggling inventions. But everything goes horribly wrong when a tragic accident robs Tony of his father and nearly costs him his own life. Now dependent on his own impressive technology for survival and dedicated to battling corruption, Tony must reconcile the pressure of teenage life with the duties of a Super Hero. Inside his remarkable invention, Tony Stark is geared for high-speed flight, high-tech battles and high-octane adventure! He is Iron Man.
Iron Man and Wolverine are two of the most popular Super Heroes in the Marvel universe, with over forty years of story telling between the two characters. Reflecting this popularity, two new major motion pictures featuring these characters are being readied for the big screen, Iron Man on May 2, 2008, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine on May 1, 2009.
Marvel Studios’ big screen adaptation of Marvel’s legendary Super Hero Iron Man will launch into theaters on May 2, 2008. Oscar®-nominee Robert Downey Jr. stars as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the story of a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Instead, using his intelligence and ingenuity, Tony builds a high-tech suit of armor and escapes captivity. When he uncovers a nefarious plot with global implications, he dons his powerful armor and vows to protect the world as Iron Man. The film also stars Oscar®-winner Gwyneth Paltrow and Oscar®-nominees Terrence Howard and Jeff Bridges and is directed by Jon Favreau. The movie is being distributed by Paramount Pictures.
About Marvel Entertainment, Inc.:
With a library of over 5,000 high-profile characters built over more than sixty years of comic book publishing, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment, publishing (via Marvel Comics) and toys, with emphasis on feature films, DVD, consumer products, video games, action figures and role-playing toys, television and promotions. Marvel’s strategy is to leverage its franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world. For more information visit http://www.marvel.com/ .
About Nicktoons Network:
Nicktoons Network is the fastest growing kids’ network* and offers a 24-hour schedule featuring programming such as the Nicktoons Network Animation Festival, Skyland, Kappa Mikey, The Secret Show and Martin Mystery, as well as a roster of hits that have defined kids’ and animation lovers’ TV, including Avatar: The Last Airbender, Invader Zim, Danny Phantom, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius. Nicktoons Network is a part of the MTV Networks expanded suite of channels available for digital distribution. The new channels include MTV Hits, MTV Jams, Nicktoons Network and VH1 Mega Hits, expanding and strengthening MTV Networks’ digital offerings to thirteen services.
Nicktoons Network currently reaches 50 million homes via cable, digital cable and satellite, and can be seen on Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast Cable, Cox Communications, DirecTV, DISH Network and Time Warner Cable. Nicktoons, and all related titles and logos are property of Viacom, Inc.
*Nicktoons Network was the Fastest Growing Kid’s Network in the past year among K6-14, K9-14 and K12-17. Source: Nielsen Media Research, 01/01/07- 12/30/07 vs. 12/26/05-12/31/06. (Live) US AA%
About Method Films:
A multi award-winning animation concept and content creation company, which produced high end CGI animated series for a number of international broadcasters such as Nicktoons, BBC, ITV, France 2, France 3, ABC Australia, etc. Method Films has created, produced, and financed a significant number of in-house TV series such as Skyland and Mikido, and has also worked on recreating other strong properties such as Iron Man (a coproduction with Marvel), Cosmic Quantum Ray (a coproduction with Taffy Entertainment) and the up coming series Wakfu (a coproduction with Ankama Animations). For additional information, visit http://www.methodfilms.fr
About Toonz Entertainment Pte Ltd.:
Toonz Entertainment Pte Ltd., Singapore is a global entertainment company producing, financing, selling and distributing feature films, television series, DVD products in both live action and animation genre. TEPL has a marquee clientele, which includes Walt Disney, Warner Bros, MGM, Lions Gate, Sony Pictures, Hyde Park Entertainment, Marvel and Cartoon Network. Besides its Hollywood/European associations, it has strong presence across Asian countries especially in India with its production facility Toonz Animation India Pvt Ltd and in other countries like China, Korea and Japan. TEPL has diversified expertise in the areas of gaming, licensing and merchandising, animation education, and infrastructure development in addition to the live action productions.