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Marvel Signs More Superhero Screen Deals

2 Oct, 2002 By: Hive News

Marvel Studios has finalized an agreement with Universal Pictures to bring two more of the company's superheroes to the big screen: Sub-Mariner, the first-ever super hero created by Marvel Comics, and Prime.

These deals come as post-production continues on the first project being jointly developed by Marvel and Universal - the highly-anticipated June release of The Hulk starring Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly and directed by Ang Lee.

"With the masterful job currently being done on The Hulk, Universal Pictures has proven to us that it has the vision and creativity to bring our superheroes to the big screen in grand fashion," said Avi Arad, CEO, Marvel Studios. "Sub-Mariner and Prime are two characters that have incredible stories. Sub-Mariner will be an epic underwater tale of majestic fantasy. Prime is a complete departure from the standard superhero story. With this film we are developing what we think will be Marvel's first superhero action-comedy."

The film projects are in line with Marvel's other recent deals with such studios as Sony, New Regency, Dimension and New Line, a Marvel spokesperson said.

Development of the feature film based on Sub-Mariner is under way. Sub-Mariner will follow the adventures of Prince Namor, a half-man/half-amphibian creature from Atlantis. A troubled rebel with a short temper, he has helped the human race and fought against it when humankind polluted his underwater kingdom with waste. As previously announced, David Self, screenwriter of Road To Perdition is bringing Marvel's amphibious hero to the screen. Arad and Kevin Misher are producing the film, with Kevin Feige, Stan Lee, and David Self serving as executive producers.

The Sub-Mariner made his first appearance in Marvel Comics #1 and Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1 in 1939, however his more modern depiction came in Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four (Vol.1) #4 in 1962.

The creative team of Don Calame and Chris Conroy will pair up to script the tongue-in-cheek story of Prime, the tale of a teenage boy who as a result of a government-backed experiment gains the ability to transform into an adult superhero. Prime will be produced by Avi Arad and Chuck Gordon. The executive producers for the picture are Kevin Feige, Stan Lee, and Scott Rosenberg with Ari Arad co-producing.

These agreements further broaden an already strong relationship between Marvel and Universal. Recently, Marvel and Universal's interactive games division -- Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) -- forged a partnership to create massive multi-player subscription-based online games.

Like Sony's Everquest and Electronic Arts' Ultima, the Marvel multi-player online games will enable millions of people around the world to play against one another simultaneously in a virtual, persistent universe. Additionally, VU Games will be developing next generation video games based on several Marvel franchises beginning with a line of titles inspired by The Hulk.

Marvel has next-generation video game deals with other developers including Activision and THQ.

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