Marvel, Lions Gate Enlist The Avengers

Marvel Enterprises and Lions Gate’s Family Home Entertainment (FHE) will animate The Avengers for the first title to be released through their recent direct-to-video agreement. Not to be confused with the classic British spy television series, this Avengers will be based on the best-selling Marvel comics series, The Ultimates, and will feature such popular Marvel superheroes as Captain America, The Hulk, Iron Man and Thor.

Marvel and Lions Gate plan to develop, produce and distribute eight original animated home video features based on the Marvel character library. Development and production are being spearheaded by Marvel while Lions Gate handles marketing and distribution.

This agreement extends Lions Gate’s and Marvel’s existing relationship, which saw Lions Gate release the live-action feature The Punisher to theatres earlier this year. The independent studio is also developing theatrical features based on Marvel’s Iron Fist and Black Widow characters.

Production is now underway on The Avengers, with Lions Gate shooting for release in early 2006. Canada’s CinéGroupe is likely to produce the animation for the series.