Duo to produce live-action version of series

TOKYO — Tokyo-based toon house Anime Intl. Company has inked a deal with Singapore’s Cubix Intl. to produce a live-action version of the hit science-fiction toon series “Bubblegum Crisis.”

The partners are planning a Hollywood-sized budget for the project, with an intended U.S. theatrical release by 2011.

Key creative team has not yet been announced, although companies say they intend to work with “Bubblegum Crisis” creators Shinji Aramaki and Kenichi Sonoda to maintain the look and tone of the original.

AIC first produced “Bubblegum Crisis” from 1987 to 1991 as an eight-part series for the straight-to-video market. Its popularity inspired a prequel, “AD Police Files,” and follow-up “Bubblegum Crash” series, as well as TV toons, games and various spin-offs. Total video and laser disc sales amounted to more than 600,000 units. It was also widely exported abroad, becoming a key player in the worldwide anime boom.

Founded in 1982, AIC has produced many direct-to-video and TV toons, including the international hits “Tenchi Muyo!” and “Ah! My Goddess.”

Cubix is a visual software production company whose credits include the 2006 “Zodiac, The Race Begins,” the first 3-D animated feature made in Singapore.

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