Deal's first pic, 'Avengers,' to be released in 2006

Lions Gate Films Intl. has inked to sell foreign distribution rights to the Marvel/Lions Gate slate of animated made-for-DVD features.

Domestic deal between Lions Gate and Marvel was unveiled over the summer.

Under the deal, Lions Gate will jointly develop, produce and distribute original animated made-for-DVD features.

First pic under the deal is “The Ultimate Avengers 1,” which will feature some of Marvel’s most popular superheroes, including Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and Thor. Pic is already in production and will be released in early 2006.

No other titles have been announced, nor have any sales.

“Marvel is a name that has instant worldwide recognition and is synonymous with top quality storytelling and highly identifiable characters,” says Lions Gate Films Intl. co-prexy Nick Meyer. “This, in addition to the current worldwide success of animation in the theatrical marketplace, will drive DVD sales of ancillary titles — making this package very attractive to buyers.”

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