Mortal Kombat Producers Acquire 'Ninja Scroll' for Next Martial Arts Franchise
Threshold Entertainment Sets 'Ninja Scroll'
For $60 Million Live Action Feature
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 Madhouse. 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 www.ninjascroll.com . 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. MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X79600313
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