The Avengers: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lions Gate Family Home Entertainment will kick off its much-anticipated series of animated made-for-video movies starring Marvel comic-book characters with "The Avengers."

The first installment in an eight- to 10-picture deal with Marvel Enterprises, the 66-minute film will feature a cadre of Marvel's most popular characters, including Captain America, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Giant Man and Wasp. The animated feature, based on the Marvel Comics series "The Ultimates," is still in the script phase. Glenn Ross, president of Lions Gate's family home entertainment division, said he expects the complete film to be out on DVD in early 2006.

Brian B.