Beano Studios and DC Thomson has launched Emanata Studios to develop the UK’s largest comic book archive for film and television.

Emanata Studios archive includes popular titles such as ‘Dandy,’ ‘Commando,’ ‘Victor,’ ‘Jackie,’ and ‘Bunty’. 

In the US, Emanata is working with Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s media company, Westbrook Studios on a high concept drama, based on the very first British comic book superhero ‘The Amazing Mr X,’ who is featured in ‘Dandy’.

Emanata also has a live action dramedy based on ‘Dennis the Menace’ in development with Jerry Bruckheimer TV and CBS Productions and Fox Entertainment has picked up the rights for Bananaman and are developing an adult animation series with Bento Box (‘Bob’s Burgers’ and ‘Central Park’).

Chief Creative Officer Mark Talbot will lead Emanata Studios, with a team of producers working alongside him, and he will continue to report into James Clayton, Chairman and David Guppy, CEO of Beano Studios. Emanata Studios will have offices in both Dundee, home of the comic archive, and London and is represented in the US by CAA.

Talbot commented: “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.”

Emanata Studios also has a range of projects in the works in the UK across drama, comedy and animation for adults and YA in the UK which include a UKTV comedy live action pilot script has been commissioned based on an iconic comic 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. A live action drama is in development with each of Sky Studios and Drama Republic, and two adult animations with MTV Entertainment Group. 

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.”

Emanata Studios is also launching its 2022 New Writers’ Bursary. Submissions will open in January, via the Emanata website, for a bursary of £30k which will be awarded to three writers from underrepresented groups to write a pilot script based on IP from the DC Thomson archive. Previous recipients include Adjani Salmon, Ameir Brown, Lara Peake and Leila Navabi, with one project in development with a UK broadcaster.

 

Jon Creamer

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