Mortal Kombat Producers Acquire 'Ninja Scroll' for Next Martial Arts Franchise

Threshold Entertainment Sets 'Ninja Scroll'

For $60 Million Live Action Feature

Mar 13, 2002, 00:00 ET from Threshold Entertainment

    SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Threshold Entertainment
 today announced its acquisition of "Ninja Scroll" from leading Japanese anime
 studio Madhouse.  The producers of the $4 billion Mortal Kombat feature film
 franchise have tagged the property as its next blockbuster martial arts
 franchise.  Threshold plans to produce "Ninja Scroll" in all media including
 television, live stage tours, video games, music and more.  The Multimedia and
 Intellectual Property Management giant, is currently developing the
 $60 million effects laden live-action samurai feature film based on the 1994
 blockbuster Anime movie.  This acquisition marks one of many properties that
 Threshold plans to acquire over the next six months and turn into global
 mainstream entertainment as part of its overall buying strategy.
     Created by award-winning action director Kawajiri Yoshiaki (Vampire Hunter
 D, Demon City), "Ninja Scroll" is considered to be the yardstick by which all
 other martial arts sword-fighting action anime is measured.  Set in feudal
 Japan, the sword and sorcery epic follows the adventures of Jubei, a ninja
 mercenary, who is thrust into the middle of a war when the entire population
 of a small village is wiped out by a mysterious plague.  A tragic love story
 ensues with Jubei's reluctant rescue of a beautiful and cursed ninja girl as
 fate brings them together to fight a war with the eight devils of Kimon and
 overthrow the Shogun government.
     "We're always looking to acquire extraordinary properties with tremendous
 growth potential.  Ninja Scroll has all of the elements for a multi billion
 dollar entertainment franchise," said Larry Kasanoff, chairman and CEO of
 Threshold Entertainment.  He added, "It's wild, sexy and innovative and one of
 the coolest martial arts brands in the world."
     Threshold revolutionized the feature film world when it became the first
 company to successfully translate a videogame property, Mortal Kombat, into a
 $4 billion blockbuster feature film franchise.  The company has produced --
 and made the brand number one -- in every medium in the world, including two
 blockbuster feature films, a TV series and Radio City Music Hall Live Stage
 show.  It is now the most recognized martial arts brand the fifth largest
 entertainment property in the world, just behind Star Wars and Batman.
     "Though anime was originally born in America, it has had its own evolution
 in Japan and become a part of Japanese culture.  Given my long career running
 one of the most progressive anime production companies in Japan, I was very
 moved when Threshold made their first offer on Ninja Scroll.  I felt anime had
 finally evolved into something American audiences would find entertaining.  I
 am thrilled to see anime become a mutual language to bridge our cultures and
 work toward the same goals," said Maruyama-San, founder and President of
     Threshold Entertainment CIO, Joshua Wexler represented his company in the
 transaction.  Hikaru Sasahara of Digital Manga Inc. and Robert K. Yasui of
 Yasui & Carroll negotiated the deal on behalf of Madhouse.
     Threshold Entertainment's groundbreaking worldwide digital animation and
 effects subsidiary, Threshold Digital Research Labs (TDRL), will supervise the
 show's visual FX.  Threshold's other subsidiary, Threshold.TV will create and
 manage the online presence of the brand at .
     Kasanoff will produce with Threshold's Alison Savitch, George Johnsen and
 Joshua Wexler.  Hikaru Sasahara will serve as co-producer.
     Threshold Entertainment is the leading innovator in intellectual property
 management, representing some of the best-known entertainment properties in
 the world including Duke Nukem, Mortal Kombat, Playboy, Hellraiser, Pepsi
 Co./Frito Lay, Ozzy Osbourne, Sunday Comics, Proctor & Gamble and many more.
 The company develops brands for production and publication in film and
 television and on the Internet, retaining ownership of digital assets. The
 company recently set up a new videogame based film franchise, Duke Nukem, at
 Dimension Films, and is currently in production on its first digitally
 animated feature film, Foodfight!  Threshold is also producing two PG-13
 romantic comedies with Playboy Enterprises.
     Larry Kasanoff is chairman and CEO of Threshold Entertainment and producer
 of Mortal Kombat in all its incarnations. Formerly president and co-founder
 with James Cameron of Lightstorm Entertainment, he supervised production of
 "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" and executive produced "True Lies."
     Threshold Digital Research Labs (TDRL) is a groundbreaking global digital
 animation and visual effects production studio.  The company produces original
 full-length digitally animated feature films and also creates and produces
 100% digital visual effects and animation for movies, TV, games, IMAX movies,
 theme parks and location based entertainment and websites.  The company has
 created and produced digital visual effects for movies such as "I Still Know
 What You Did Last Summer," "The Faculty," and "Dogma;" for TV commercials such
 as "General Motors;" and for TV series like "Mortal Kombat: Conquest."
     Threshold.TV is the premiere online entertainment network for guys ages
 12-35 offering cutting edge original programming, streaming video, animation,
 pay-per-view and pay-per-play, games and exclusive content linked to world
 famous and new entertainment brands.  The network serves as a launching pad
 for these brands into all media including syndicated, cable and network
 television, feature films, live stage tours, theme parks, live attractions and
 venue based entertainment.
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SOURCE Threshold Entertainment