Comic Book Movies and Ishimori Group to Jointly Develop Movies Based on Shotaro Ishinomori Manga

Nov 15th 2005
Ishimori Entertainment Inc., Comic Book Movies, LLC, ITOCHU Corporation, and Lotus Inc. have agreed to jointly develop motion picture franchises based on the original properties of the late Shotaro Ishinomori.

Shotaro Ishinomori (1938-1998) is one of the most famous Manga authors of all time, distinguished by his creations of more than 500 Manga characters. In Japan, his name is as widely recognized as is the name, Walt Disney, in the United States. The parties intend to produce theatrical motion pictures for a worldwide audience, with their initial release as early as 2008. Their agreement extends to DVD's, television, merchandising, and other ancillary markets critical to their franchise-building strategy.

CBM was established in May 2004 by veteran film producer and comic book expert Michael Uslan and financier M. Jonathan Roberts. Uslan is well known in the film and comic book industries as executive producer of the "Batman" franchise films. CBM's mission is to finance the development and production of motion pictures based on classic American comic book and graphic novel properties as well as important Japanese Manga properties. Mr. Uslan, whose outstanding career in Hollywood spans over 29 years, is an Emmy Award winning producer ("Where On Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?") who recently donated over 30,000 comic books from his private collection to Indiana University's prestigious Lilly Library. Under the leadership of Mr. Uslan and Mr. Roberts, CBM will produce movies with A-list and cutting edge directors, screenwriters and acting talent. Comic book-based movies, from 1989's hit "Batman" to this year's hit "Batman Begins", have grown to become over a billion-dollar business at the Box Office, on DVDs, videogames, toys and other merchandising.

Lotus is CBM's exclusive agent for the procurement and development of existing and original motion picture content from Japan and Asia. Lotus develops original motion picture content in collaboration with Japanese alliance partners and holds the Japanese distribution rights of motion pictures produced by CBM.

On September 1st, 2004, Ishimori Group (Ishimori Shotaro Pro and Ishimori Pro) and Itochu agreed to revitalize the Ishinomori properties by jointly establishing Ishimori Entertainment, Inc. The newly established company's primary objective is to revitalize the late author's works through motion picture production, TV programs and merchandise. The new agreement with CBM establishes an ideal platform to introduce the so-called "Ishinomori World" to a worldwide audience. Itochu will support Ishimori Entertainment as its sole overseas agent and will be responsible for the development of motion picture based Ishinomori merchandise. Ishimori Group, CBM and Itochu intend to further collaborate in an expanded business relationship uniting Hollywood with Japan on the global stage.

In addition to a variety of major consumer related businesses, Itochu is active in the content production business through its major investments in SkyPerfecTV, Space Shower and Excite. In February 2005, Itochu and Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific agreed in principle to co-produce new Japanese animation. Including this special partnership with CBM, Itochu plans to become more actively involved in content production and investment, and anticipates providing unique content to the world through its access to animation series and characters. Itochu also intends to expand its merchandising business in both the Japanese and international markets.

CBM
"This is a golden age of comic book filmmaking amidst "Batman Begins", "Fantastic Four", "Constantine", "Sin City", and the much anticipated "Spider-Man 3", "X-Men 3", and "Superman Returns". The business of the future is the CBM business of building comic book franchises covering many different genres based upon pre-sold American and Japanese comic book, graphic novel, and Manga properties. It is a dream-come-true for this dedicated comic book fan to bring to life some of the greatest Manga characters in history, and to do so with respect to the integrity of the legendary Ishinomori's creations." Michael Uslan, Producer and Chief Creative Officer, Comic Book Movies, LLC
"This is truly an exciting partnership for CBM. Audiences have voted, and the clear choice in entertainment is the exciting and diverse world of comics and manga. CBM treats this new partnership with great respect and honor. We have a responsibility to help introduce the world to the famous Ishinomori creations. With the advanced support of Itochu, CBM will be able to bring his creations to the world stage through multi-media channels such as film, TV, videogames, toys and merchandise. We are especially grateful to our partners at Lotus for bringing the parties together and helping us navigate the waters of international business and culture." M. Jonathan Roberts, President and Chief Executive Officer, Comic Book Movies, LLC.

Ishimori Entertainment
"We are more than excited to work with Mr. Uslan and his team in bringing back Ishinomori's works to life in the form of Hollywood motion picture. We hope to bring joy and excitement to the worldwide fans who have yet to discover the world of Ishinomori." Akira Onodera, Chief Executive Officer, Ishimori Entertainment Inc.

ITOCHU Corporation
"We are very much excited about this new relationship and hope to introduce the "Ishinomori World" to the worldwide audience through content production and merchandising. Nobuyuki Kaneko, Executive Officer, ITOCHU Corporation.

Lotus
"Lotus is honored to be a part of this great collaboration between Ishimori, Itochu and Comic Book Movies. We anticipate seeing the creation of a new and unique motion picture genre combining the genius of Ishinomori and the distinctively creative vision of Michael Uslan." - Hiroshi Koizumi, President of Lotus Inc.
About Comic Book Movies, LLC.
Comic Book Movies, LLC ("CBM") is a full service content production and development company that will produce blockbuster entertainment franchises based on comic book properties from the U.S. and overseas. CBM's partners have extensive experience with both the filmmaking process and with sound film investment structures, producing a significantly controlled risk profile.We will identify and mitigate risk, maximize profit potential in all markets and build a media library. Our high profile industry relationships further enhance the company's ability to develop and produce A-list film projects. All of our films will be selected from the intellectual property of the rich and diverse comic book world, a genre that Hollywood and their audiences simply can't get enough of. Each picture will have a domestic and foreign theatrical release window that will drive its future revenues in the domestic and foreign video/DVD market, cable television and free television markets, and any and all other ancillary markets (i.e., non-theatrical, merchandise sales, video games, internet...).
For more information please visit http://www.comicbookmovies.net.

About Ishimori Entertainment
On September 1st, 2004, Ishimori Group (Ishimori Shotaro Pro and Ishimori Pro) and ITOCHU Corporation jointly established Ishimori Entertainment Inc., with the objective to revitalize the properties of the late Manga author Shotaro Ishinomori, through motion picture production, TV broadcast, merchandising, etc. Ishimori Entertainment is headquartered in Tokyo.
For more information, please visit http://www.ishimori-e.jp/.

About Shotaro Ishinomori
Born Shotaro Onodera in Ishinomori town, Toyoma county (present Toyoma city), in Miyagi Prefecture in 1938, Ishinomori studied under Osamu Tezuka, the great Manga author. He made his debut in 1955 with "Nikyu-Tenshi (Second Class Angel), while he was a student at the Miyagi Prefecture Sanuma High School. The author is known for various story-Manga titles such as "Cyborg 009" "Kamen Rider (Masked Rider)" "Sabu to Ichi Torimonohikae (Sabu and Ichi Detective Story)" "Manga Introduction to Japanese Economy" "Manga Introduction to Japanese History" and played a leading role in the Manga industry. For 45 years, the author has endeavored in his activity in the front line, challenging countless genres and pursuing the potentiality of Manga. In the numerous works of Ishinomori lie universal messages that do not fade away; "Kamen Rider" and "Cyborg 009" made their revival after his death in 1998 and acclaimed high reputation.

About ITOCHU Corporation
The activities of Japan's general trading companies have achieved unprecedented diversity. A leader among these trading companies, ITOCHU Corporation has seen its own evolution follow the same trend. ITOCHU is a globally integrated corporation with offices in over 80 countries and operations that cover a broad spectrum of industries. Annual revenues place ITOCHU among the world's largest corporations of any type.
For more information, please visit http://www.itochu.co.jp/main/index_e.html.

About Lotus Inc.
Lotus Inc.'s primary business is the procurement and development of Japanese entertainment content for United States and international entertainment companies. Lotus also serves international companies in entertainment content consulting, and the development and marketing of international content for Japan. Lotus is headquartered in Tokyo with a branch in Los Angeles, California.
For more information, please visit http://www.lotus-tyo.com/.

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