More Toon Pics Are Drawn to Nick Movies

A new sci-fi live-action feature starring Will Smith will serve as a launching pad for an animated series on Spike TV, according to a story in Variety today. The film, titled The Mark, follows the story of an everyman who obtains special powers after he discovers a mysterious mark on his body. The feature will be produced by Gregg Chabot and Kevin Peterka (Reign of Fire), and produced by Nick Movies senior VP Julia Pistor and Overbook Entertainment’s Smith and John Lassiter. After the release of The Mark in theaters, the project will then become an animated TV series on Spike TV.

This marks a busy period for Nick Movies in general. Paramount plans to release The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie, a feature based on the popular Nick toon on November 19. Scarlett Johansson, Alec Baldwin and Jeffrey Tambor are among the feature’s voice actors. The film is directed by SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg. Also on Paramount’s Christmas slate is the live-action family movie Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, starring Jim Carrey, Jude Law and Meryl Streep.

Nick is also developing two CGI properties: Steve Oedekerk’s The Barnyard, and Mighty Mouse, directed by John Woo. Focusing on the secret lives of farm animals, The Barnyard is scheduled for a December 2005 release. Mighty Mouse is a CG treatment of the famous Terrytoons hero, first introduced in 1943.

Among the other projects in development at Nick Movies are an updated version of the classic sitcom Father Knows Best; an adaptation of Widow’s Broom, Chris Van Allsburg tale of a witch’s broom; Where’s Waldo, based on Martin Handford’s popular book series; and Sector 7, based on David Weisner’s book about a cloud creature.