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Monday, November 7, 2005


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Bob Richardson, producer/director of the Ultimate Avengers animated movie, said that the film features four major battles.

"Which is a lot to put in a 70-minute movie," he said on Saturday during the Ultimate Avengers panel at Wizard World Texas.

A clip of one of those battles was shown, as Captain America, Giant-Man, Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, Nick Fury and Betty Ross try to control a rampaging Hulk.

Richardson was joined on the panel by Ultimates artist Bryan Hitch and Craig Kyle of Marvel Studios. After the clip, they fielded questions from the audience.

Following are highlights:

* Hitch, who saw the animation for the first time along with the fans, did design work for the film. "The script was fantastic," Hitch said. "It had all the elements of the comic -- the angst, the characterization and the intensity."

* Hitch's group image will be used as the box art for the DVD.

* The first four direct-to-DVD Marvel animated films -- Ultimate Avengers 1 and 2, Iron Man and Doctor Strange -- will be released about three months apart, with Doctor Strange targeted for February 2007.

* Richardson on adapting the comic to film: "We wanted a nice through-line and build it in a certain way, so construction of it has a nice pace to it. Ultimately, with time on screen for the characters, you have to pick and choose. The thing you don't want to do is have so many characters that you can't cultivate them in a nice way."

* Richardson said extras for the DVD are still in devlopment.

* Kyle said that the Giant-Man/Wasp abuse element from the comics was toned down because there wasn't time in the film for Giant-Man to redeem himself.

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