'Bakugan' gets big-screen treatment

Universal, Stuber to adapt Japanese anime show

Universal and Stuber Prods. are hoping to capitalize on the latest toy craze among boys, entering into a deal with toy company Spin Master to bring "Bakugan Battle Brawlers" to the big screen.

"Bakugan" is a Japanese anime show airing on the Cartoon Network as well as a strategic game that uses metal cards and magnetic, spring-loaded miniature figures that transform from marblelike balls into toy monsters.

The show's story line revolves around creatures called Bakugan and the young human battle brawlers who wield them. The creatures have such names as Pyrus Drago, Haos Tigrerra, Ventus Skyress, Subterra Gorem and Darkus Hydranoid that inform their character and power; they are involved in a battle in a parallel dimension called Vestroia that spills into ours.

"Bakugan" airs six days a week on Cartoon as one of its top shows.

No writers are on board, but the studio jumped at the chance to be in business with a toy that has a growing worldwide fan base. It also sparked to the concept and story line, which it believes will translate well into an all-ages action-adventure movie.

Spin Master's Ronnen Harary will produce with Stuber Prods.' Scott Stuber. Donna Langley and Jeff Kirschenbaum of Universal are overseeing. Jon Mone of Stuber Prods. brought the property to the company through Mike Drake, with whom the company just worked on the upcoming Universal release "Repossession Mambo." Mone acts as executive producer.

Stuber Prods.' latest Universal movie, the R-rated comedy "Role Models," has earned more than $64 million at the domestic boxoffice. The company is in production on the Peter Billingsley-directed comedy "Couples Retreat," starring Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman and Jon Favreau; Favreau also wrote the script.
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