Fresh from his legal victory over Marvel Ent., comic-book king Stan Lee has teamed up with former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr to create a new animated property. Financed, produced and distributed by IDT Ent., the venture will see Starr transformed into a reluctant superhero with a great sense of rhythm.
Lee’s POW! Ent. and Starr’s Rocca Bella shingle will develop the project with for television, home entertainment, publishing and all categories of licensing and merchandising. Production on the animated series will begin in 2005 with a DVD rollout planned for the first quarter of 2006. Executive producers for POW! Ent. are Lee and COO Gill Champion. Executive producer for Rocca Bella is Marjorie Bach. IDT Ent. COO John Hyde will supervise production.
Starr will lend his voice to his animated alter ego, joining Lee’s pantheon of superhero characters, which includes Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, X-Men and The Hulk.
“Ringo is beloved worldwide for his commitment to people and his singular wit," Lee comments. "Our Ringo superhero character will combine these qualities, along with [his] secret powers which people generally didn’t know about because he has kept them secret, until now.”
This is not Starr’s first brush with animation, having collaborated with the other Beatles on the 1968 toon classic, Yellow Submarine. He later starred in 1981’s Caveman, which featured stop-motion animation by Jim Danforth (When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth), Randall William Cook (Lord of the Rings Trilogy) and the late, great Dave Allen (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids). Most recently, he portrayed Mr. Conductor in the first season of PBS’ popular Shining Time Station series, featuring Thomas the Tank Engine.