‘Anne’ toon pic pacts for paperback

Canuck distrib readies doll launch, TV series to air on PBS

This article was corrected on May 16, 2001.

Sullivan Entertainment has closed a deal with HarperCollins to produce an exclusive series of 13 paperback books tied to its animated feature “Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Movie.”

The books will be released prior to the launch of the film, which will complete production in late fall.

Sullivan is the leading Canadian independent production and distribution company,

The company, which recently announced its new feature film division, makes it debut in Cannes with footage of the 80-minute animated feature. Pic will be released to coincide with the debut of a 26-part animated series airing in the U.S. on PBS in September 2001.

Deal follows Sullivan and HarperCollins’ long-standing relationship and collaborations on 40 other titles based on “Road to Avonlea” (an “Anne of Green Gables” spinoff) and “Wind at My Back.”

Sullivan has also completed development of a special Anne of Green Gables collectible doll with a coordinated accessory product line and is finalizing numerous licensing agreements with a wide range of U.S. licensees for products including board games, puzzles and dress-up costumes at the Licensing Fair in New York next month.

Pic is a lavish animated prequel about the scrappy orphan and features the voices of Lally Cadeau, Geoff Kahnert, Michael Beaver, Cedric Smith, Patricia Gage, Wayne Robson, Ali Mukaddam and Rebecca Peters. Written by Michael MacLennan (“Wind at My Back,” “Super Rupert”), and produced by Christine Davis, company president Kevin Sullivan directs and serves as executive producer.

At Cannes, Sullivan Entertainment will also be repping “The Piano Man’s Daughter,” the gothic drama based on Timothy Findley’s best-selling novel Pic stars Stockard Channing, Christian Campbell and Wendy Crewson. The film is executive produced by Whoopi Goldberg and Sullivan’s Trudy Grant and written, directed and produced by Kevin Sullivan.

Company is also developing a second novel by Findley, “Famous Last Words” is being written and directed by Kevin Sullivan, and is scheduled to begin production later this year.

Also in development is “New Haven,” based on Isobelle Carmody’s best-selling mystical novel “The Gathering.” Chris Grismer is for Sullivan to produce and direct.