EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Marvel Anime Supervising Producer Cort Lane

Marvel is launching Anime versions of Iron Man, Wolverine, the X-Men and Blade that will be created in Japan. While debuting overseas, these shows will also be broadcast in America on G4. In this exclusive interview, supervising producer Cort Lane discusses the various shows.

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By EdGross - 9/9/2010
SUPERHERO TOONIVERSE: Marvel has announced a number of Anime versions of their characters. Can you provide some background on this project?

CORT LANE: It’s a very unique project for us. There are two reasons to do it. The first is, it’s really a fricking cool idea, to do an interpretation of these characters in an anime style, but also to help us expand into a market where our characters are not as popular, so you get to have your cake and eat it, too. You get something that’s really cool for fans around the world, and in the US, but also to grow our market presence in Japan. And as part of it, we had to be comfortable with letting loose a little bit with our characters, and allowing Madhouse and their brilliant creative team, to do a little bit of a different interpretation of our characters. To our surprise, it really came back to our core aspects and storylines, and visuals for the characters that everyone will be familiar with, so that was reassuring.



SUPERHERO TOONIVERSE: But their interpretation of Wolverine looks pretty different.

CORT LANE: That was just a promo clip, but I will say that in the show, he is much closer to a classic comic book Logan, and it’s fair to say his storyline is heavily inspired by the Frank Miller mini-series that everyone knows and loves.

SUPERHERO TOONIVERSE: These shows are 12 episodes each?

CORT LANE: They’re all 12 episodes each, exactly.

SUPERHERO TOONIVERSE: What’s unique about each of them?

CORT LANE: The settings are mostly in Japan and the rest of Asia, so each of the characters are put in that context, and in some ways, like with Wolverine, that’s a very organic idea, because his character has so many roots there. Whereas with Iron Man, he’s sort of a fish out of water, and that sort of creates lots of conflict and challenges for him as a character. With the X-Men, it’s actually a very brilliant story idea that I can’t even give away, but it’s core characters that you love, in a story that touches on some of the most classic X-Man stories. And then with Blade, there is this brilliant and horrifying universe of Asian vampires that we’re able to explore through the story.

SUPERHERO TOONIVERSE: How far away from is the Blade series from happening?

CORT LANE: Well, I can’t give you a schedule right now because I think that would be premature, but they’re being done with some overlap in sequence. Iron Man comes first, then Wolverine, then X-Men and Blade. Iron Man will be available in the US on DVD or broadcast, in the first half of next year, and Wolverine will follow shortly thereafter, and then each one will roll out, so I don’t want to give dates. It’s one of those things where it takes the amount of time that it takes, and Japanese animation can go quickly, but it also is just really detailed and beautiful, and that’s what’s exciting, to see that form of animation applied to these characters. And I have to say, it’s the highest quality anime – they’re not doing this quick and dirty, they’re spending the time to do it right. Have you seen the Ironman trailer? There’s a new one you can find on the Internet or the G4 site, there’s a new trailer that’s actually from the series. All the shows are airing on G4.



SUPERHERO TOONIVERSE: Do you view these anime shows as a way to open up these characters?

CORT LANE: These characters are not that familiar in Japan – Japan traditionally is not that open to American animated content, but has their own huge animation and comic book industries, and American content has always, traditionally had a hard time breaking through. There is awareness of our characters because they are so iconic, but this is a way to really deliver story around those characters for that audience. This is also a great way to deliver new animated content for American adult fans.
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24 Comments
marvel72 - 9/9/2010, 5:28 AM
@ ed gross

cool article,mate.

been a anime fan for a very long time,so this is the best of both worlds for me.

i'd love to see anime versions of deadpool,x-force,the avengers,nova,dr.doom & so on.
EdGross - 9/9/2010, 5:35 AM
I would imagine if these were a success, they'd start looking at other characters as well.
RorMachine - 9/9/2010, 6:15 AM
Nah, tis Wolvie. Great stuff Ed. I actually kinda like these interpretations!
MassExecutions - 9/9/2010, 6:24 AM
I'm glad Wolverine will look closer to the original in the series. I cannot fully state how much I hate the look of the one pictured above.
Spilox - 9/9/2010, 6:26 AM
Blade is gonna be so [frick]ing awesome!! Kinda like afro ninja without the fro and with vamps :P
ThaMessenger07 - 9/9/2010, 6:46 AM
I loved the Iron Man clip not a fan of wolverine. I was gonna show them to my friend and before I did, he said this

"Iron Man should be cool because they have the whole robot and armor suit thing mastered, Wolverine is probably gonna look weird because they don't do short buff guys......he'll probably look like a tall teenager with a weird haircut......like a spiky mullet"

LMAO He was right!
Deathlok - 9/9/2010, 6:48 AM
Wolverine looks like some kind of emo wimp.
jimoakley666 - 9/9/2010, 6:56 AM
God, their version of Wolverine so so [frick]ing pathetically bad. Horrible horrible horrible.
rolanddeschain - 9/9/2010, 7:01 AM
this looks so much more interesting than that crappy looking avengers series that's being made. sometimes anime can go overboard(that wolverine they have is gonna be hard to adjust to), but IMO, the attention to detail in their art can be superior to other animation, and should only enhance the quality of our favorite comic book heroes' storylines. Really wanna see the Blade series, wish they would do Ghost Rider, or Punisher
Sparrowsabre7 - 9/9/2010, 7:04 AM
Glad Wolverine is not like the promo but sad that Iron Man no longer is, in cgi animation for the armour now rather than 2d.

I would love a hulk anime with the hulk basically being Armstrong from Fullmetal Alchemist :P I'd watch that, supid as it would be.
TonyPaintball - 9/9/2010, 7:45 AM
Anime sucks.
BmanHall - 9/9/2010, 7:57 AM
Iron Man looks cool. Wolverine on the other hand... Not so much.
LEEE777 - 9/9/2010, 8:01 AM
Bring 'em on!!!
BrotherStarkofMABMindz - 9/9/2010, 8:17 AM
Anime is cool, Marvel Anime will be BITCHIN'
scurvydog - 9/9/2010, 8:54 AM
Remember:Warren "Angry Bastard" Ellis-the man behind Authority,Planetary,and Global Frequency-is a consulting overseer of these here projects. Which is a good thing,if you can remember how good the Justice League episode he wrote was...
Paulley - 9/9/2010, 9:27 AM
from the trailers that came out last year im gonna say the "Wolverine" demon slayer looks aweful.. but then again im not there target audience.

Iron Man looked really good in the trailer.

I hope that X-Men is a more classic aproach with a more adult theme.

Didnt know about the Blade one though.. that could be pretty cool.
Paulley - 9/9/2010, 9:31 AM

Wolverine



Iron Man
SHAZAM171 - 9/9/2010, 10:13 AM
Well I hope he does look more like the comic in the show than that crappy trailer version. Sheesh. I really hope these shows are all like the comics. But knowing Japanime, they are stuck in their traditional weird animation.
Viktorkryst - 9/9/2010, 10:19 AM
Wow, lame sauce. why does he look like a tranny rogue?
cole33 - 9/9/2010, 10:41 AM
weird, they made wolverine look like a completely different character without any similarities to the original version aside from the claws. I don't mind making him thin, but his hair should be the same, and he should still have a rugged look him.


would love to see some bloody slice n dice from the wolverine show.....and ninjas, everybody loves ninjas
djkpat - 9/9/2010, 1:11 PM
Iron man'll be sick, because japan knows how to do mech/robot animes well. As well as interpret them on a whole new level. Wolverine looks slightly lame to be honest. They should have left how the comics interpret his muscular tone. He looks kinda like a huge loser with the anime makeover. I can't judge X-Men and blade yet, because i haven't seen the route they've decided to go with those two comic licences.
thegamedrex - 9/9/2010, 3:23 PM
great new looking versions, although i still like old wolverines look the storyline should be great.
Bandrews1 - 9/9/2010, 7:57 PM
Can't wait for these, it would also be awesome if they did a Deadpool series as well.
Luigi - 9/10/2010, 7:17 PM
@Bandrews1: This type of animation would be great for Deadpool.

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