Sea Monkey business

Empire swims with underwater friends

Sea-Monkeys are swimming their way to the bigscreen.

Empire Pictures has struck a deal with Transcience Corp. to develop an animated film and possible franchise from the infamous children’s toy line “The Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys.” Under the deal, Empire acquired entertainment rights to the line, which has been on the market for 45 years and sold in more than 50 countries.

Empire founder and prexy Michael Birnbaum is focusing first on an animated feature, but possible spinoffs down the line could include a television series and merchandising. Birnbaum currently is meeting with writers to develop a take for the story before shopping the project to studios.

Product line features the tiny pets, which hatch instantly and live up to two years in a special tank. Their bigscreen story will be set in a microscopic ocean world, Birnbaum told Daily Variety.

“I grew up with Sea-Monkeys,” he said. “The property’s instant name recognition on a global basis makes it a platform from which to launch an animated film franchise.”

Sea-Monkeys launched in 1960 and were created by inventor Harold von Braunhut. Transcience owns the Sea-Monkeys brand, which currently is distributed by Educational Insights.

Transcience CEO Yolanda von Braunhut said filmmakers have approached the company before about the rights. “Dozens of producers have inquired about making a Sea-Monkeys film over the years, but Michael’s passion and vision made him the clear choice to guide these lovable and telepathic beings who want to be our friends on their journey to the silver screen,” she said.

Birnbaum most recently produced 20th Century Fox’s “John Tucker Must Die,” released today. He also produced “Bandits” for MGM.

More Film

  • 'Our Time Will Come' Wins Hong

    'Our Time Will Come' Wins Hong Kong Critics Prize

    Sea-Monkeys are swimming their way to the bigscreen. Empire Pictures has struck a deal with Transcience Corp. to develop an animated film and possible franchise from the infamous children’s toy line “The Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys.” Under the deal, Empire acquired entertainment rights to the line, which has been on the market for 45 years and […]

  • Star Wars

    Japan Box Office: ‘Star Wars’ Wins Fifth Weekend

    Sea-Monkeys are swimming their way to the bigscreen. Empire Pictures has struck a deal with Transcience Corp. to develop an animated film and possible franchise from the infamous children’s toy line “The Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys.” Under the deal, Empire acquired entertainment rights to the line, which has been on the market for 45 years and […]

  • Florian Munteanu to Play Ivan Drago's

    Florian Munteanu to Play Ivan Drago's Son in 'Creed 2'

    Sea-Monkeys are swimming their way to the bigscreen. Empire Pictures has struck a deal with Transcience Corp. to develop an animated film and possible franchise from the infamous children’s toy line “The Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys.” Under the deal, Empire acquired entertainment rights to the line, which has been on the market for 45 years and […]

  • The cast and crew of "black-ish"

    NAACP Image Awards: The Complete Winners List

    Sea-Monkeys are swimming their way to the bigscreen. Empire Pictures has struck a deal with Transcience Corp. to develop an animated film and possible franchise from the infamous children’s toy line “The Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys.” Under the deal, Empire acquired entertainment rights to the line, which has been on the market for 45 years and […]

  • Virus

    Eliza Dushku's Alleged Assailant Subject of Two More Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

    Sea-Monkeys are swimming their way to the bigscreen. Empire Pictures has struck a deal with Transcience Corp. to develop an animated film and possible franchise from the infamous children’s toy line “The Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys.” Under the deal, Empire acquired entertainment rights to the line, which has been on the market for 45 years and […]

  • 'Keep the Change' Bought by Kino

    Tribeca Winner 'Keep the Change' Bought by Kino Lorber (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sea-Monkeys are swimming their way to the bigscreen. Empire Pictures has struck a deal with Transcience Corp. to develop an animated film and possible franchise from the infamous children’s toy line “The Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys.” Under the deal, Empire acquired entertainment rights to the line, which has been on the market for 45 years and […]

  • phantom Thread

    Daniel Day-Lewis' 'Phantom Thread' Scores at MLK Weekend Box Office

    Sea-Monkeys are swimming their way to the bigscreen. Empire Pictures has struck a deal with Transcience Corp. to develop an animated film and possible franchise from the infamous children’s toy line “The Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys.” Under the deal, Empire acquired entertainment rights to the line, which has been on the market for 45 years and […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content