'Vicky' comes to life for Herbig


German director Michael "Bully" Herbig will adapt the hit German-Japanese anime "Vicky the Viking" as his next project.

Herbig describes "Vicky," the story of a Viking boy who designs clever plans to help his tribal chief father out of scrapes, as "a little Indiana Jones with a bit of MacGyver mixed in."

The director is casting the live-action feature, which his herbX shingle will co-produce with longtime collaborators Constantin Film and Rat Pack. The filmmakers plan to begin shooting this summer, with a release scheduled for 2009.

The project pairs Germany's most successful director — Herbig's first four films have sold about 25 million tickets in his home territory alone — with one of the country's most enduring children's titles.

Since its launch in 1974, "Vicky" has rarely been off the air in Germany. It also has become a cult hit across much of Western Europe and Japan.