Cartoon Network has signed an agreement with acclaimed producer Joel Silver and Silver Pictures to develop a live-action motion picture for its globally successful animated action-adventure property, Ben 10, Stuart Snyder, president and chief operating officer of Turner Broadcasting System Inc.’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media division, announced Tuesday.
The movie, which will be produced by Silver, along with Dark Castle Entertainment co-presidents Steve Richards and Andrew Rona, gives Silver and his production company exclusive rights to develop and package the property, and to advance it toward a theatrical production.
“I cannot think of anyone better suited than Joel Silver to develop a theatrical action-driven adventure based on our Ben 10 franchise,” said Snyder. “As a producer of mega-hit movie franchises like Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and The Matrix to the successes of Sherlock Holmes and The Book of Eli, Joel has both the passion and movie-making know-how to turn Ben 10 into a spectacular theatrical experience for our fans.”
“In Ben 10, Cartoon Network has built a property that is loved across the world,” said Silver. “It has a fun premise with a great leading character that lends itself to the big screen, and I am looking forward to seeing how we can take it to the next level.”
Created by Man of Action (Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau, Steve Seagle), the series — about a boy (Ben Tennyson) who discovers a strange wristwatch that allows him to transforms into 10 different aliens with superpowers — premiered on Cartoon Network in January 2006 and quickly became a global hit, reaching more than 165 countries. With these powers, Ben can play the part of a superhero, righting wrongs, saving the world and getting into some old-fashioned kid-style trouble.
A #1 hit for the network on Saturday mornings, the Ben 10 saga continued to expand as a series, first with Ben 10: Alien Force in April 2008 and then with Ben 10: Ultimate Alien in spring 2010, now airing on Friday nights.
Silver is credited with practically reinventing the action film genre in the 1980s. In 1985, he formed Silver Pictures and continued producing hit action films such as Commando (1985), the Lethal Weapon franchise, the first two films of the Die Hard franchise and The Matrix trilogy. Recent projects include Sherlock Holmes (2009), and the upcoming films Project X and Logan’s Run.
Ben 10 has also spawned a highly successful and award winning global merchandise line, including the recent Toy of the Year at the annual BTHA Awards in London and two live-action movies for television, which set new ratings records for Cartoon Network. Ben 10 is the #1 brand for all of Cartoon Network in electronic sell-through, which includes iTunes, Xbox, PlayStation and Comcast on Demand.
Online, the Ben 10 Alien Force Game Creator lets kids build their own Web games and share them with the world. To date, users have posted more than 790 million gameplays since launch, with more than 6.6 million games created by fans. Game Creator recently won the CableFAX Best of the Web award in the Games category, and has achieved more than a million Facebook page fans/likes.