Mondo TV, Italy's number two animation company after Mediaset, has signed a co-production agreement with Korean animator Hahn Shin Corporation under which the partners will produce 200 half hours over the next three years.
The deal takes in several series including adventure series Genghis Khan and Gladiators and religious series In the Name of Jesus and The Bible. Gladiators will be made in 3D with each episode budgeted at around $250,000.
Mondo, which plans to float on the Italian stock exchange at the end of the month, will own 75% of the North American rights and all rights in Europe to the series while Hahn Shin will own rights to Asian territories and 25% of North America. The two companies expect revenues on their joint projects to total about $40m.
"This deal is only the beginning of a strong co-operation with Hahn Shin and a big chance for us to grow our presence in Asia," said Mondo president Orlando Corradi.
Mondo's first feature-length animated film, The Legend Of The Titanic, produced last year with Spain's ITB, was picked up for distribution by Germany's Atlas Film. Titanic has been released in Italy on selected screens and its modest audience numbers are growing.