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DC Thomson’s vast comic archive to be developed for film and television by new Dundee production company

A live action Dennis the Menace is in development.
A live action Dennis the Menace is in development.

Dundee publisher DC Thomson’s vast comic archive is set to be made into films and television shows on both sides of the Atlantic.

A live action Dennis the Menace and new Bananaman are in the works while Will Smith’s production company is developing an obscure Dandy character.

DC Thomson and Beano Studios have launched Emanata Studios to utilise characters from iconic titles such as The Dandy, Commando, Victor, Jackie and Bunty.

It is already in talks with several production companies.

High profile projects

In the US, Emanata is working with actor Will Smith’s company Westbrook Studios on a high concept drama.

This is based on the very first British comic book superhero The Amazing Mr X, who featured in Dandy.

The Amazing Mr X in The Dandy.

It also has a live action Dennis the Menace project in development with Jerry Bruckheimer TV and CBS Productions.

Meanwhile Fox Entertainment has picked up the rights for Bananaman.

The company will have offices in Dundee and London. American talent agency represents the firm in the US.

DC Thomson’s comics ‘one of a kind’ archive

Chief creative officer Mark Talbot will lead Emanata Studios, with a team of producers working alongside him.

He said: “This is an incredibly unique place to be. This one-of-a-kind archive has preserved more than 2,000 stories and characters and Emanata is the perfect studio to reawaken them.

DC Thomson’s comic archive includes Bananaman which is in development.

“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 an impressive range of projects in the works in the UK.

These span drama, comedy and animation for adults and young adults.

Projects include:

  • A UKTV comedy live action pilot script has been commissioned based on an iconic comic character from Dandy.
  • Screen Scotland has funded a drama based on character Nick Jolly the Flying Highway Man who featured in the Hotspur comic.
  • The development of a live action drama with each of Sky Studios and Drama Republic
  • Two adult animations with MTV Entertainment Group.

Beano Studios chairman James Clayton said there is “ever-increasing demand” for premium content.

He said: “It’s the perfect time for Emanata to renew these treasured stories and characters for modern audiences.”

Hollywood star Will Smith’s production company is developing Dandy IP.

Emanata Studios is launching a new writers’ bursary in January.

It will award £30,000 to three writers from underrepresented groups to write a pilot script based on IP from the DC Thomson archive.

Beano Studios also produced the International Emmy nominated Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed! which has sold to more than 90 countries.

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