Beano Studios & DC Thomson Launch Emanata Studios To Adapt Comic IP For TV & Film; Set Deals With Jerry Bruckheimer TV & Westbrook Studios

EXCLUSIVE: Classic British comic characters from The Beano, The Dandy and Commando are set to head to film and TV after publisher DC Thomson and Beano Studios launched Emanata Studios.

The companies, which are behind brands such as Dennis The Menace and Bananaman, are launching the division to develop the UK’s largest comic archive for film and TV and have struck deals with the likes of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer TV.

In the U.S., Emanata and Westbrook Studios are developing a high-concept drama based on the very first British comic book superhero The Amazing Mr X, who is featured in Dandy.

Jerry Bruckheimer TV and CBS Studios have also come on board a live-action dramedy based on Dennis the Menace. The project, which Deadline revealed last year, comes from Matthew Barry, a writer on Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

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It comes as Fox is also developing an adult animated comedy based on Bananaman with its own Bento Box Entertainment and MTV Entertainment Group is developing two adult animated projects.

In the UK, Flack broadcaster UKTV has ordered a live-action pilot script based on a character from Dandy, Screen Scotland, backed by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery, has funded a drama, written by Rae Brunton, based on character Nick Jolly the Flying Highway Man, who featured in the Hotspur comic, and Sky Studios and Doctor Foster producer Drama Republic are also developing live-action dramas.

The archive includes popular titles such as Dandy, Commando, Victor, Jackie and Bunty. The move sees the first time that Dundee-based DC Thomson is opening up its entire comic archive for development.

It will be led by Chief Creative Officer Mark Talbot with a team of producers. Talbot will continue to report to James Clayton, Chairman and David Guppy, CEO of Beano Studios and the company will have offices in Dundee and London and is repped in the U.S. by CAA.

Talbot said, “This is an incredibly unique place to be. This one-of-a-kind archive has preserved more than 2000 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.”

Beano Studios Chairman James Clayton added, “With sole ownership of the UK’s largest comic book archive and ever-increasing demand for premium content, it’s the perfect time for Emanata to renew these treasured stories and characters for modern audiences.”

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