Could the long-trumpeted Bananaman movie have moved a step closer? Beano Studios announced the hiring of Chris Rose as their director of development and production last week, coming to the company from his role as Commissioning Editor at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Working with Beano Studios CEO, Emma Scott, Beano Studios says Rose will lead the development and production of long form television, film and theatre productions for Beano’s existing cast of characters.
Chris will also work with Beano Studios development and writing teams to develop new characters and reinvigorate some Beano favourites for a range of new platforms.
An accomplished broadcast professional and producer, his LinkedIn profile reveals he has over 17 years experience in television content production, development, commissioning and acquisitions, Rose’s career has had focused on children’s scripted and non scripted TV, and he has a track record of delivering content that resonates with domestic and international audiences.
As well as overseeing and producing linear television series, Chris has also worked on innovative cross platform stories including interactive drama and children’s games.
While at ABC, Rose devised and implemented a successful animation strategy for the school age audience and recently contributed to the overall content strategy for the ABC’s two children’s brands ABC ME and ABC KIDS.
“Chris shares our ambition to make Beano Studios an international force in the world of long form children’s story telling, whether that’s for television, film, theatre or other platforms,” says Emma Scott.
“He’s a big hitter with the right mix of experience and flair to take the Beano brand, its well-loved characters and brand new ones to a whole host of new audiences.”
“Beano is one of the best-loved children’s brands in the world and Beano Studios has such an ambitious and forward thinking vision for its future,” enthuse Chris, “so it’s amazing to be able to catapult their treasured characters to the next level as well as introduce the world to some awesome new ones.
“I grew up with these characters and can’t wait to get started on their new adventures.”
Beano Studios launched in September 2016 and has already announced its first major production: Dennis and Gnasher: Unleashed, due to air on CBBC later this year.
Eric Wimp and his alter-ego Bananaman has been delighting kids and adults alike since 1980, first in Nutty, then The Dandy and since 2012, Beano, where he’s often seen vying for the cover with Dennis the Menace.
Created by Steve Bright and writer and editor Dave Donaldson (best known for his work on The Broons) and initially drawn by the late John Geering for Nutty comic in 1980, the quintessentially British Bananaman is the superhero with “the muscles of twenty men, and the brains of twenty mussels”. He’s brave, he’s bold… but he’s not very bright!
A Bananaman film has been mooted for a while – but the official web site for that project is out of commission. We reported last year that London’s Tristan Bates Theatre staged three rehearsed readings for Bananaman the Musical, the live action debut of the Man of Peel, which we reported on back in January,
The cast are Jodie Jacobs, Chris Warner Drake, Nathan Amazi, Kate Graham, Ralph Bogard, Quinn Patrick, Rosie Needham, Mark Newnham and Carl Mullaney, many of them part of the cast of the UK version of the Broadway musical Disaster!
Bananaman The Musical has been written by the award-winning writer and composer of Wolfboy, The Famous Five, Scary Musical and Monte Cristo Leon Parris, is directed by Fred Perry (producer, director, actor and founder of Sightline Entertainment), choreographed by Grant Murphy.
Produced by Sightline Entertainment in association with DC Thomson, the show will tour the UK in 2018.
• For all the latest Beano news visit www.beano.com
• Visit www.bananamanlive.com to hear a sample from the show
The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.
John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.
He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.
Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.