LOS ANGELES, May 12, 2008 – Platinum Studios, Inc. (OTCBB: PDOS), an entertainment company that controls an international library of more than 5,600 comic book characters which it adapts, produces and licenses for all forms of media, in conjunction with Top Cow Productions, Inc., an entertainment and publishing company specializing in building intellectual properties through comic-book and graphic-novel publication, and Arclight Films, one of the leading international film sales companies, today announced a deal to co-produce a feature film based on the action fantasy thriller Witchblade. The best-selling comic book franchise created by Top Cow has sold over 100 million units worldwide since its #1 debut in 1995.
It is anticipated that the film would be shot on location in Australia. The exact story line and nature of the script is being kept under wraps, but will stay true to the Witchblade mythology, which centers around a deadly ornate gauntlet that gives superpowers to the wearer, a chosen female bearer of each generation, who possesses it.
“Witchblade is one of the premier comic-book titles in the world,” said Gary Hamilton, CEO of Arclight. “This property is the cornerstone of our upcoming production and sales slate and we hope to be able to start production in September 2008.”
Hamilton, Nigel Odell, head of Arclight’s production operations, Platinum Studios’ CEO Scott Mitchell Rosenberg and Steve Squillante of Havenwood Media are all set to produce. Top Cow’s CEO Marc Silvestri and President Matt Hawkins would serve as executive producers as would Platinum Studios’ Rich Marincic. Former Universal Pictures senior executive Randy Greenberg of the Greenberg Group, who helped negotiate the deal with Platinum Studios General Counsel, Helene Pretsky, would also executive produce. Hawkins and attorney Harris Miller negotiated on behalf of Top Cow.
“In my opinion, Witchblade is one of the finest comic-book properties yet to be made into a full-length feature film,” said Platinum Studios’ Rosenberg. “’I believe that Witchblade’s fantastic origin, intriguing mystery and wonderful story should satisfy the core audience while giving all moviegoers an amazing ride.”
“We have been looking for the right opportunity to bring Witchblade to the big screen,” said Marc Silvestri, CEO of Top Cow. “We are fortunate to have production partners who value the story and the characters so much and have a shared vision.”
The Witchblade’ comic book has been published in more than 21 languages and distributed in over 55 countries. The notable success of the comic book led to the highly rated made-for-TV movie in 2000, which spawned a weekly series that ran for two seasons on TNT. The property has been licensed all over the world in action figures, magnets, trading cards, posters, lithographs, skateboards, collectible masks, lunch pails, role playing games, collectible Halloween masks, soundtracks, novelizations, die cast cars, Digital DVD comics, statues, Christmas ornaments and multiple toy lines.
Most recently, Witchblade was licensed in Japan to Gonzo Digimation Holding and made into an anime TV show by Studio GONZO. The first season’s 26 original produced half-hour episodes ran on terrestrial television to rave reviews and ratings -- of the 97 different Anime series on the air in 2006, Witchblade was #17 -- and it was the highest anime debut of an American property ever. Late last year, FUNimation released the Japanese anime to the DVD market in the U.S. and it became the #1 Amine DVD debut of 2007. Witchblade is also the first American property to be fully adapted in Japan as an original anime and manga.
Platinum Studios’s film and TV division has various other properties in development at major film studios, including “Atlantis Rising” at DreamWorks and Kurtzman/Orci (“Transformers”) set to produce “Cowboys and Aliens” again at DreamWorks with Kurtzman/Orci partnering with Universal Pictures partnering with Imagine Entertainment, and “Unique” at Walt Disney Pictures. Platinum Studio has also recently announced its partnering with Hyde Park Entertainment to co-produce “Dead of Night,” based on the beloved Italian comic book series, Dylan Dog.
Top Cow’s TV series Witchblade, which was TNT’s #1 original show of 2000, is set to have the 2001-2002 episodes released on DVD on July 29, 2008. Top Cow’s The Darkness, was developed into a major next-generation video game release by Starbreeze and 2K Games and achieved platinum sales status. Additionally, Top Cow has turned Wanted, the best-selling Eisner Award-nominated miniseries and graphic novel published by Top Cow and written by comics superstar Mark Millar, into a major motion picture that is being released wide on June 27, 2008 by Universal Pictures. The film stars Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, and Morgan Freeman and is directed by Timur Bekmambetov