Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor.
The deal with Feld Entertainment, which has a long-term relationship with Marvel‘s owner Disney as producer of the Disney on Ice series, comes on the heels of the $1.5 billion box office haul earned by The Avengers last summer as well as the (eventual) Broadway success of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. While no concrete details about what the live-action show have been revealed — we’re assuming there’s no ice involved — the production will involve Marvel Comics’ vast collection of characters, meaning it can deliver something movie fans may never see on the big screen: Spider-Man and the X-Men, Daredevil and the Fantastic Four paired with The Avengers. Because of movie rights held by Sony and 20th Century Fox, those characters are prevented from appearing in the Disney/Marvel franchise, but there are no such restraints for things like live tours. The multiyear deal announced today between family-owned Feld and Marvel Studios will see Marvel Universe Live mounted with an estimated budget of $10 million-plus, with plans for an 85-city North American tour to launch in July 2014 before heading overseas. The show will feature “state-of-the-art special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial displays, martial arts and countless other show elements” that seem a natural fit for Feld, which owns Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
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