McFarlane and IDT Ent. Launch New Spawn Toon

Todd McFarlane’s dark hero, Spawn, is ready to take flight again. IDT Entertainment and Todd McFarlane Productions (TMP) today jointly announced a multi-faceted development, production and distribution agreement to produce animated programming and merchandise based on Spawn and other TMP original intellectual properties.

The two companies’ first venture, Todd McFarlane’s Spawn: The Animated Series, tells the story of a highly decorated U.S soldier who is reborn as a creature from hell to fight a constant battle between the forces of good and evil. The first Spawn series aired on HBO from 1997 through 1999 and won two Emmy awards. Spawn, one of the world’s best-selling comic books with hundreds of millions sold worldwide was also the subject of New Line’s 1997 live-action feature film, which grossed over $100 million internationally.

"Ever since the Spawn animated series left HBO in 1999, I have been asked–almost daily–when the show is going to return," says Todd McFarlane, Spawn creator and CEO of the McFarlane Companies. "I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to not only bring the show back, but also do it with the intent of making it better creatively than its first incarnation. Teaming up with IDT Entertainment’s DPS/Film Roman will allow us to take it to the next level of animation technology."

McFarlane will oversee all aspects of development and production as executive producer. Terence Fitzgerald, senior VP of creative development of Todd McFarlane Productions, will serve as co-exec producer, and Sidney Clifton, senior VP and head of programming and development for DPS Film Roman, will lead the creative development team on the IDT Entertainment side.  DPS Film Roman is the IDT Entertainment company known for its award-winning production work on shows such as The Simpsons and King of the Hill.

 According to the agreement, in addition to Spawn, McFarlane will create two additional animated properties. All three projects include animated broadcast television series, DVDs, feature films, video games, apparel and action figures, as well as other consumer products. McFarlane Toys, one of the world’s premier toy manufacturers, is currently on its 25th figure line for Spawn action figures and merchandise. (You can find out more info on wwww.spawn.com)

IDT Entertainment is a fast-growing vertically integrated entertainment/animation company which develops, produces and distributes animated and film projects through DPS/Film Roman, Mainframe Entertainment and DKP Effects, and video distribution through Anchor Bay Entertainment. IDT Entertainment is a subsidiary of IDT Corporation (NYSE:IDT, IDT.C.), a multinational carrier, telephone and technology company. IDT is also in the early stages of production on two proprietary CG animated feature films, Gene Roddenberry’s Starpoint Academy and a feature yet to be named, directed by Christopher Reeve.