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Beano Studios, DC Thomson launch prodco Emanata with US deals

UK-based production company Beano Studios and comic publisher DC Thomson are launching new venture Emanata Studios to develop the UK’s largest comic book archive for film and television.

The new company has already secured US deals with Westbrook Studios, Jerry Bruckheimer TV and Fox Entertainment.

Emanata Studios will develop the entire DC Thomson comics archive, which includes the titles Dandy, Commando, Victor, Jackie and Bunty.

In the US, Emanata is working with Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s Westbrook Studios on a high-concept drama based on the first British comic book superhero The Amazing Mr X, who features in Dandy.

Emanata also has a live-action comedy-drama based on the character Dennis the Menace in development with Jerry Bruckheimer TV and CBS Productions, while Fox Entertainment has picked up the rights to Bananaman. An adult animated series is also in the works with Fox-backed Bento Box (Bob’s Burgers).

Chief creative officer Mark Talbot will lead Emanata Studios with a team of producers working alongside him, and will continue to report to chairman James Clayton and CEO of Beano Studios David Guppy. Emanata will have offices in both Dundee, home of the comic archive, and London and is represented in the US by CAA.

Emanata Studios also has a range of projects in the works in the UK across drama, comedy and animation for adults and young adults, which include comedy live-action pilot script based on an iconic comic character from Dandy commissioned by UKTV.

Screen Scotland, backed by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery, has funded a drama written by Rae Brunton based on the character Nick Jolly the Flying Highway Man, who featured in the Hotspur comic.

It is also developing live-action dramas with each of Sky Studios and Drama Republic and two adult animated projects with MTV Entertainment Group.

Talbot said: “This is an incredibly unique place to be. This one-of-a-kind archive has preserved more than 2,000 stories and characters and Emanata is the perfect studio to reawaken them. For those who already know them, and new audiences ready to be entertained, we can’t wait to reintroduce the world to Bunty, The Supercats, Nick Jolly the Flying Highway Man, alongside the incredible Beano IP at our disposal.”

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