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U plans live-action ‘Gadget’

Move over James Bond, here comes “Inspector Gadget.”

Universal Pictures has entered into an agreement with DIC Animation City Inc. for the rights to the animated “Inspector Gadget.”

The project will be developed by Ivan Reitman’s Universal-based Northern Lights Entertainment.

Under terms of the pact, a live-action feature film based on the character will be developed, with Andy Heyward, who created the character, as producer. The screenplay is being written by Joseph Loeb III and Matthew Weisman (“Commando” and “Teen Wolf”).

“Inspector Gadget” is about a humble police inspector, who, after slipping on a banana peel, becomes the first bionic police inspector working for INTERPOL, capable of activating more than 13,000 gadgets in his battle against evil.

Popular worldwide, Gadget is seen as a daily syndicated strip television show and on the Family Channel. “Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas,” an NBC special, aired last September. Actor Don Adams is the voice of the character.

There are more than 100 “Inspector Gadget” licensed products, ranging from breakfast cereals and fast-food tie-ins to toys and video games. Character is also the national spokes-character for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Reitman and his Northern Lights Entertainment have turned out a number of successful films for Universal, including “Twins,””Kindergarten Cop” and “Beethoven.”

DIC Animation City Inc. has more than 200 half-hours in production for network, syndication and cable television. Leading the slate are “Sonic the Hedgehog,””Dennis the Menace” and “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?”

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