Yesterdayafternoon Marvel Studios announced finalized agreements on two motion picturedeals with Universal Pictures. The deals were for Sub-Mariner and Prime.These deals come as post-production continues on the first project being jointlydeveloped by Marvel and Universal - the highly-anticipated June release of TheHulk starring Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly and directed by Ang Lee.
"With themasterful job currently being done on The Hulk, Universal Pictureshas proven to us that it has the vision and creativity to bring our super heroesto the big screen in grand fashion," said Avi Arad, CEO, Marvel Studios."Sub-Mariner and Prime are two characters thathave incredible stories. Sub-Mariner will be an epic underwatertale of majestic fantasy. Prime is a complete departure from thestandard super hero story. With this film we are developing what we think willbe Marvel's first super hero action-comedy."
Development ofthe feature film based on Sub-Mariner is underway. According tothe press release the movie will follow the adventures of Prince Namor, ahalf-man/half-amphibian creature from Atlantis. A troubled rebel with a shorttemper, he has helped the human race and fought against it when humankindpolluted his underwater kingdom with waste.
As previouslyannounced, David Self, the critically acclaimed screenwriter of Road ToPerdition -- a graphic novel interpretation in its own right - isbringing Marvel's amphibious hero to the screen. Arad and Kevin Misher areproducing the film, with Kevin Feige, Stan Lee, and David Self serving asexecutive producers. Ari Arad will take part as co-producer.
The Sub-Marinermade his first appearance in Marvel Comics #1 and Motion Picture Funnies Weekly#1 in 1939, however his more modern depiction came in Marvel Comics' FantasticFour (Vol.1) #4 in 1962.
The creativeteam of Don Calame and Chris Conroy will pair up to script the tongue-in-cheekstory of Prime - the tale of a teenage boy who as a result of agovernment-backed experiment gains the ability to transform into an adult superhero. Prime will be produced by Avi Arad and Chuck Gordon. Theexecutive producers for the picture are Kevin Feige, Stan Lee, and ScottRosenberg with Ari Arad co-producing.
These agreementsfurther broaden an already strong relationship between Marvel and Universal.Recently, Marvel and Universal's interactive games division -- Vivendi UniversalGames (VU Games) -- forged a partnership to create massive multi-playersubscription-based online games. Like Sony's Everquest and Electronic ArtsUltima, the Marvel multi-player online games will enable millions of peoplearound the world to play against one another simultaneously in a virtual,persistent universe. Additionally, VU Games will be developing next generationvideo games based on several Marvel franchises beginning with a line of titlesinspired by The Hulk.
Marvel andUniversal are also currently benefiting from their association in the theme parkarena. Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure inOrlando, Florida ranks as the park's most popular destination highlighted by itsincredibly popular attractions, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, TheIncredible Hulk Coaster and Doctor Doom's Fearfall.