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Anime studio Madhouse will produce animated series featuring Marvel Comics' characters such as Wolverine, Iron Man and others for the Japanese market, ICv2 reports.

The first series will launch in spring 2010, debuting on Animax, a 24-hour Japanese anime network.

Marvel and Madhouse also plan to explore related merchandising opportunities.


Read about comic strip artist Russell Keaton's near-involvement in the creation of Superman.

[Jerry] Siegel and Keaton maintained a brief correspondence over the character, with Keaton eventually deciding “not to gamble on such a young and inexperienced writer.” Instead, a few years later Keaton launched his own newspaper strip, Flyin’ Jenny.


The Banana Splits are returning, Variety reports.

Hanna-Barbera’s 1960s phenom is returning in a multiplatform effort starting Sept. 2, with shorts and musicvideos airing on Cartoon Network and its website. Future efforts will include DVD and audio CD releases, as well as live performances.

Turner Animation’s Stu Snyder noted that the Splits have “been entertaining kids for years,” but the return of the property will capitalize on boomer nostalgia as well. “Go Bananas Your Way,” the new Splits album, is “intended to appeal to kids and parents,” according to the release.


Nathan Fillion of "Firefly" fame will appear in a new ABC crime drama, The Los Angeles Times reports.

“Castle” is described in the press notes as a comedic crime procedural about a famous mystery novelist, Nick Castle, who has gotten bored with his success. When a real-world copycat murderer starts staging scenes from Nick’s novels, he’s teamed with a female detective, and soon the sparks are flying. Castle is kept grounded by his Broadway diva mother, quick-witted teenage daughter, and his long-suffering ex-wife, who happens to be his editor. It stars Nathan Fillion as Castle, Stana Katic as Det. Kate Beckett, Molly Quinn as Alexis, Susan Sullivan as Martha, Monet Mazur as Gina and Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Capt. Montgomery.

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