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Chakra movies to air on Toonami; Astra Force coming soon

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MUMBAI: After its successful debut on Cartoon Network in 2013, Graphic India and Stan Lee’s "Chakra The Invincible" is back with three new installments of "Made for TV" movies for Turner International. Chakra is the brainchild Graphic India’s Sharad Devarajan, and POW Entertainment founder Stan Lee, who is credited with creating billion-dollar character intellectual properties such as the Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, Thor and the X-Men.

Sixty to 70 mins long, the first of the three installments, Chakra Rise of the Infinitus, was aired on Turner’s Toonami last Sunday, while the second and third animated movies are scheduled for December-end and first half of 2017.

"The movie will subsequently be aired on other Turner channels such as Cartoon Network,” said Devarajan. “I have had a great long-standing partnership with Krishna Desai who heads Turner’s kids content division. He is a true fan of comics books; Stan Lee and I saw the true potential for this kind of unique content,” Devarajan added on choosing Turner as the broadcast partner.

To make the content travel to regional markets as well, the movies have been produced in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu feeds. Apart from its TV broadcasts in India, Graphic India is largely looking into syndicating the TV movies to other international markets. “Our partnership is only for the Indian market, but Graphic India is aggressively expanding to other markets with foreign broadcasting partners as well. We have already partnered with Angry Birds creators, Rovio Entertainment, and its digital platform ToonsTV, making Chakra as the first third-party character to have launched on the platform."

The character received a warm welcome from the fan boys in the United States. “Kids from the mid-west America have been found dressing up as an Indian superhero in cosplay conventions and birthday parties -- that is how popular it is in the western markets,” Devarajan shared, adding that 100,000 copies of the comic book have been distributed in the North American market.

Devarajan also has big plans to market the character in India, starting in the next two to three months which will tied to the promotion of the live action Bollywood film inspired by Chakra, announced by Phantom Films (in 2017).

“We will be pushing the distribution of the comic book, organise live events, and ensure that Chakra has a visibility in games, merchandise and promotions deals with brands in India.”

Devarajan shied away from discussing the actual budget of the latest series of TV movies, but he reassured that they have scaled up the production.

“Now that we are getting international market attention about distribution, the more we move to multi-market, the scope of expanding both, scale and budget, increases. Working only in the Indian market gives us limited options, but when foreign players are willing to invest, we naturally consider a higher budget,” he added.

Apart from Chakra The Invincible, Graphic India will also see its long-announced animated series "Astra Force" (featuring an animated Amitabh Bachchan) see the light of the day this year-end with Disney India being the broadcast partner.

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