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HD Rainmaker partners with Stan Lee

Rainmaker Animation is set to develop Legion of 5, the newest superhero franchise from the co-creator of Spider-Man, X-Men and Fantastic Four.
April 17, 2008

Rainmaker Animation is set to develop Legion of 5, the newest superhero franchise from the co-creator of Spider-Man, X-Men and Fantastic Four.

The Vancouver animation shop on Wednesday announced a partnership with Lee and Utah-based finance and development group Brighton Partners for the new superhero franchise Legion of 5. It’s the latest from the 85-year-old creative force who, in his earlier association with Marvel, co-created the Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Hulk franchises.

‘We’re hoping it will be a high-profile property that will keep us growing,’ Rainmaker CEO Warren Franklin says. The company has been busy shifting to ‘purely animation,’ as Franklin puts it, since it acquired Mainframe and sold its post-production and FX business to Deluxe last year.

Rainmaker already has ties to a Lee project through its work on the 2003 Spider-ManTV series. Franklin says the comic book creator was ‘a fan,’ and was interested in developing a fully animated property that would be suited to all platforms, including online, mobile and gaming.

‘It seemed to be a natural fit,’ Franklin adds. Rainmaker will be co-owners of Legion of 5, budgeted at US$24-million, along with Brighton’s and Lee’s Pow! Entertainment prodco.

The partners hope to release the fully CG-animated product theatrically, though Franklin notes they may develop several direct-to-DVD versions.

‘It depends on what we end up with and how many films we make,’ he says. The companies are mum on details including plotline and characters.

Franklin says that while Rainmaker is ‘leading the charge’ on the project, Lee will be consulting and involved in the approvals process. Exec producers on the project are Lee, Rainmaker’s Aaron L. Gilbert and Paul Gertz, Gill Champion of Pow!, and Cord Beatty of Brighton Partners.

Production is underway on storyboarding and character development, with a delivery date set for 2010.

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