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Artisan, Marvel's 'Man-Thing' shows the nature of fear

ArtisanEntertainment, Marvel Studios and Fierce Entertainment announced today that themovie version of 'Man-Thing' is due, as a theatrical release, on August 27,2004. This differs from previous rumors that pegged the movie for adirect-to-video release. The studio also released the teaser poster for thefilm. Click the image at right for the full-size view.

Here is the official press release:

Artisan Entertainment will bring Man-Thing, a collaborationbetween Marvel Studios and Fierce Entertainment, based on the popular MarvelComics' character, to theatres nationwide on August 27, 2004. The announcementmade by Marvel Studios CEO Avi Arad, Artisan Pictures' President of ProductionRichard Saperstein, Artisan Entertainment Executive Vice President Patrick Gunnand Fierce Entertainment's CEO Christopher Petzel comes as the project wrapsproduction ahead of schedule following an incredibly successful eight-weekshoot.

Adapted to the screen by Hans Rodionoff from the original 1970's Marvel comicbook character and directed by Brett Leonard, Man-Thing was producedby Marvel Studios and Fierce Entertainment in association with German equityfund Screenland Movieworld.

Marvel's terrifying creature of the swamp, Man-Thing screams ontoour screens in the new horror motion picture that presents a very different kindof character to the usual Marvel superhero. Based on the cult comic book seriesthat was first published in 1971, the Man-Thing is a vengefulcreature born from the evil and injustices perpetrated against both man andnature.

'Man-Thing' has been an unbelievably exciting project for us. We havealways felt that this character's story would translate incredibly well to thebig screen as it mixes horrifying action with a truly mesmerizing and frightfulanti-hero, said Mr. Arad. Brett is seen as one of the true pioneersin the creation of revolutionary computer-generated and mechanical effects andwe now seen first-hand why. His powerful creative vision has helped bring thischaracter to life in a thoroughly compelling manner - so much that we havedecided to fast track it for release next summer, fully confident in itsworldwide appeal.

Commented Mr. Gunn, Uncharacteristic of the typical Marvel charactersbrought to life on the big screen, 'Man-Thing' brings a chilling component notpreviously showcased in Marvel comic based films. We feel this film impressivelyintroduces 'Man-Thing' in a manner that will really thrill the viewing public.

Man-Thing is directed by effects pioneer Brett Leonard, whosetalents in the horror Sci-Fi genre have been proven by motion pictures such asgroundbreaking visual effects thriller The Lawnmower Man andVirtuosity starring Academy-Award winners Russell Crowe and DenzelWashington. He also directed one of the most successful Imax projects ever, the3-D T-Rex Back to the Cretaceous, which grossed over US$100 millionworldwide.

Director Brett Leonard, Fierce Entertainment and Marvel Studios assembled atruly outstanding team of professionals in bringing Man-Thing tolife. The film was shot by award-winning Director of Photography Steve Arnold(Terra Nova, La Spagnola). Production design was handledby Peter Pound (storyboards for Babe and Alex Proyas' DarkCity) and Tim Ferrier (Farscape), while the substantial visualeffects work is being performed by Omnilab and Rising Sun (The Core,Queen of The Damned). Special effects and prosthetics work wasprovided by The Make-Up Effects Group (The Matrix andBabe).

The ensemble cast include Australian icon Jack Thompson (OriginalSin, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, BrokenArrow), whose breakout role in the feature film Breaker Morantdirected by Bruce Beresford earned him numerous accolades including BestSupporting Actor at the Cannes Film Festival and an AFI Award for Best Actor,and acclaimed New Zealand actor Rawiri Paratene who excited critics around theworld with his performance in the recent independent hit WhaleRider.

The cast also features newcomers Matt Le Nevez (Garage Daysdiected by Alex Proyas), Rachel Taylor (Natalie Wood - Hollywood's LastChild by Peter Bogdanavich), and Steve Bastoni (The MatrixReloaded, Enter The Matrix).

Producer Avi Arad is President and CEO of Marvel Studios. Following therecord-breaking success of the box office smash hit, Spider-Man(Columbia Pictures), and the establishment of two more proven franchises in hisfirst Marvel features - Blade (New Line) and X-Men: The Movie(Twentieth Century Fox) - Arad has numerous film projects based on Marvel superheroes in various stages of development. He has aligned Marvel with severalprominent studios to produce full-feature films including: Twentieth Century Fox(X-Men 2, The Silver Surfer, Fantastic Four,Daredevil, and Elektra), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man2, Ghost Rider), Universal Studios (The Hulk,Namor), New Line (Iron Man), Dimension (WerewolfBy Night, Dr. Strange), Artisan Entertainment (ThePunisher) and Paramount (Deathlok). His reputation hasattracted some of Hollywood's most prestigious directors (i.e. Sam Raimi, AngLee and Bryan Singer) and writers who are helping translate the ever-popularMarvel super heroes for the big screen.

Man-Thing was shot completely on location in Sydney, Australia.Specific locations included Wiseman's Ferry, Serenity Cove Studios at Kurnellfor exterior swamp scenes and Homebush Bay where an elaborate supernatural swampenvironment was created on a sound stage.

Artisan Entertainment Inc. is the leading independent producer anddistributor of theatrical, television and home entertainment product. Thecompany coordinates its business activities through two wholly owned operatingdivisions, Artisan Pictures and Artisan Home Entertainment. The Artisan Picturesdivision is responsible for the development, production, marketing anddistribution of the company's annual slate of theatrical films. The Artisan HomeEntertainment division has an extensive library of over 7,000 titles, whichincludes its own properties, as well as a wide spectrum of films from AcademyAward winning classics to blockbusters and cult favorites.

Fierce Entertainment, LLC is an entertainment financing and productioncompany formed in early 2001 by Christopher Petzel. The company has executiveproduced a number of feature films and provided transaction advisory services toleading entertainment companies around the world. Fierce Entertainment hasarranged over US$40 million of production financing and advised on over US$100million of corporate entertainment transactions. For additional informationvisit http://www.fierce-entertainment.com.

Marvel Enterprises, Inc. is a leading global character-based entertainmentcompany that has developed and owns a library of more than 4,700 characters,which have entertained generations around the world for over 60 years. Marvel'soperations are focused in entertainment and consumer product licensing and comicbook publishing. Marvel Studios supports the development of feature films,DVD/video products and TV series. Marvel's creative team also supports thecreation of video games and toy lines based on its characters as well as for abroad and growing range of consumer products and services including apparel,collectibles, foods and promotions. Marvel's comic book division is a leadingpublisher in the global marketplace while also serving as an invaluable sourceof intellectual property. Marvel's Toy Biz division is a recognized creativeforce and leader in toy design, sales and marketing, developing and overseeingboth licensee and in-house toy lines. For additional information visit http://www.marvel.com.

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