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May 17, 2000

Reported by Variety scoopster, Michael Fleming, Artisan Entertainment and Marvel Enterprises have joined forces to turn at least 15 Marvel superhero franchises into live-action features, TV series, direct-to-video films and internet projects.

The deal, announced earlier today, involves the following Marvel franchises:

  • Captain America
  • Thor
  • Black Panther
  • Silver Surfer
  • Deadpool
  • Iron Fist
  • Morbius
  • Power Pack
  • Longshot
  • Antman
  • Mort, the Dead Teenager
Captain America is planned to be a feature release while Thor will be developed for television. Though Marvel has made deals with other major studios, this agreement with Artisan is the most expansive pact to date with any studio, according to Marvel president and CEO, Avi Arad.

Both Marvel and Artisan will share in the revenues generated from the future productions, as well as, from licensing and merchandising. Both parties will co-produce, with Marvel providing the properties and developing licensing and merchandising tie-ins. Artisan will fully finance the productions and distribute in both theaters and video.

Amir Malin, co-chief exec officer of Artisan, stated that there will be no change in Marvelís existing deals at major studios, where films like the "X-Men," "Spider-Man," The Fantastic Four," "The Incredible Hulk," "Blade II," and the "Silver Surfer" are in various stages of production or development.

UPDATE: May 18th

More Marvel news today! Marvel Enterprises and Crystal Sky Entertainment have entered a pact to produce a GHOST RIDER feature film.

Sources state that the studio is seeking Johnny Depp to play the firey cyclist from hell. Academy-Award winning actor Jon Voight will be involved as a producer and might also appear in the film. The script's writer is none other than "Blade" scribe, David Goyer.

Scheduled for production early next year, GHOST RIDER is expected to have a budget around $75 million.

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