Marvel Enterprises and Lion's Gate Entertainment have signed a deal under which Lion's Gate will produce eight direct-to-video animated features based on Marvel characters.  Lion's Gate will pay Marvel a licensing fee for the characters and fund all development, production, distribution and marketing for the films.  Marvel will spearhead creative development and production.  Both companies will share in the profits from the venture.  Each animated feature will have a minimum running time of 66 minutes.  The eight films will be based on 'characters to be named later.'


Lion's Gate already has a significant relationship with Marvel.  The studio is working on a sequel to The Punisher, and is also developing live action films based on two other Marvel characters, Iron Fist and Black Widow.