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DIC’s deal goosed

Disney pact extended for two more years

DIC Films has extended its first-look deal with Walt Disney Pictures by two years, the company announced Thursday.

DIC, which just finished a three-year deal with the Mouse, will continue to develop and produce live-action projects, some of which will be based on DIC Entertainment figures.

Disney and DIC will be producing “Inspector Gadget” from the DIC character roster as a full-length, live-action pic set for release in summer 1999. Jordan Kerner is also a producer on the project, which is based on a DIC animated series about a bumbling detective.

“We’re constantly on the lookout for new properties,” said Aaron Meyerson, VP of motion pictures for DIC.

Disney Pictures president David Vogel said DIC has been a solid provider for the Disney slate.

“When it comes to family entertainment, they have great sensibilities, which make them an ideal partner for the Disney banner,” said Vogel.

Among other projects in the DIC/Disney pipeline are: “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” with Sandra Bullock in the lead and producing; “Sailor Moon,” a live-action version of the Japanese primetime animated show set to star Geena Davis; “Beardstown Ladies,” a pic about the group of female financial planners from Illinois; and “Genius,” a Disney Channel original pic produced by Meyerson and scribe Tom Schulman (“Dead Poets Society”), based on a pitch by Meyerson and John Rieck.

The first production from DIC and Disney is “Meet the Deedles,” which opens March 27 with Dennis Hopper, Paul Walker and Steve Van Wormer. Meyerson and Dale Pollock produced. Steve Boyum directed.

DIC Films is run by Meyerson, who founded it with Artie Ripp in 1995. Ripp is still a consultant for the company. Director of development is Noah Rosen.

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