MIPCOM: Anderson, Sony Launch CG Captain Scarlet

The new Thunderbirds movie may have been a no go at the box office, but the creator of the original series has big plans for re-launching another blast from the past. Gerry Anderson Prods. has teamed with Sony Pictures Ent. and Sony Wonder, the family and children’s entertainment division of the newly-merged Sony BMG Music Ent., to launch 26 episodes of the CG-animated television series, Gerry Anderson’s New Captain Scarlet.

The new series, now in production at the Pinewood Studios outside of London, is a modern update of Anderson’s original Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons from the ’60s. Like Thunderbirds, Scarlet employed Anderson’s "supermarionation" process of bringing puppets to life. A sign of the times, puppets on strings and miniature sets have been replaced by state-of-the-art computer-generated models and environments for the revival.

When Spectrum agents Captain Scarlet and Captain Black are sent to investigate mysterious alien signals, Captain Black mistakenly initiates a battle with the Mysterons, who destroy the men and recreate them as indestructible agents of evil programmed to destroy Earth. Black returns from the grave to lead the alien campaign but Scarlet escapes the Mysterons’ influence and regains control of his human psyche. Once friends, the two captains now fight on opposite sides of good and evil.

As Anderson embraces new technologies, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have resurrected the supermarionation process for their latest feature, Team America, a politically-charged Thunderbirds spoof that is sure to pull some strings at the box office. Read more about Team America and the puppet work by the Chiodo Bros. in the November issue of Animation Magazine.

Sony Pictures Television International will launch the broadcast sale of Gerry Anderson’s New Captain Scarlet for international territories at MIPCOM 2004 in Cannes, France, Oct. 4-8. Sony Pictures Television will represent the series in the U.S. broadcast market and Sony Pictures Consumer Products will lead the development of licensing and merchandising efforts outside of the U.K. Sony Wonder will distribute the series on home video and will work with legendary music producer Chris Schwartz’s TriMedia Ent. Group to develop and release soundtrack recordings.

Anderson has produced or co-produced 17 television productions, including Joe 90, Fireball XL5 and Stingray. In addition to the new Scarlet, Anderson Ent. is in pre-production on the TV projects Regor the Rescue Dog and A Christmas Miracle. The company is also exploring avenues of exploiting the back catalogue, of which Granada Ventures is master licensee.