Sunday, March 16, 2008

Universal Pictures and Dark Horse Sign Deal

By Heather Chin (March 15, 2008)

Hollywood movie production house Universal signs agreement with hugely successful independent comic book company, Dark Horse in a lucrative movie-comics merger.

In a mutual coup, Universal Pictures and Dark Horse Entertainment have signed an agreement granting worldwide production and distribution rights to the major Hollywood production house, and giving the big independent comic book company a well of financial support and distribution avenues.

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the deal makes Universal the studio home to Dark Horse and all of the characters and properties that it currently holds, as well as may acquire in the future. This makes the path between printed story and movie development a smoother transition and is lucrative for both parties.

The deal was brought forward by Universal’s co-chairman David Linde and their president of production Donna Langley, and is not entirely surprising.

In the past decade, many Dark Horse comics have made the leap from comic to successful screen adaptation. These include “The Mask” (1994) with New Line and “Barb Wire” (1996) from Polygram. Projects with Universal have ranged from “Time Cop” in 1994, “Mystery Men” in 1999, and most recently, “Hellboy II: The Golden Army.”

This deal could also give hope to fans of current Dark Horse comics that their favorite characters, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, may finally end up on the big screen, or have a repeat appearance, as with “Serenity” and “Star Wars: Legacy.”

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