Platinum, IDG & Relativity Team on Witchblade

Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media, David Lee and Steven Squillante, partners of IDG Films, Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, chairman of Platinum Studios, which controls the world’s largest independent library of comic book characters, and Arclight Films have announced that they have arranged financing to bring the Top Cow Productions’ Witchblade comic book character to the big screen. Production will begin in 2006 on two feature films, to be shot back-to-back, based on the best-selling action/fantasy comic book, which also earned a loyal following as a TNT television series.

Witchblade will be produced through IDG Films, Relativity Media and Platinum Studios, in association with Top Cow Productions; Arclight Films will handle foreign sales. Producers are Relativity principals Ryan Kavanaugh and Lynwood Spinks, Platinum Studios chairman Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, and IDG Films general partners Steven Squillante and David Lee. Executive producing is Top Cow founder Marc Silvestri and Arclight Films’ Gary Hamilton and Harrison Kordestani. Co-producers are Top Cow president Matt Hawkins and Platinum executives Jay Burns and Aaron Severson. Attorney Steve Saltzman negotiated on behalf of IDG Films.

Witchblade follows the story of a detective who comes into possession of a mystical and powerful weapon that she uses to fight crime and evil. Along with its short but successful run on TNT, where it received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series, Witchblade has earned countless fans worldwide as a beloved comic book series. Printed in 21 languages and distributed in 55 countries, Witchblade is listed among Wizard Magazine’s top ten best comic book characters of all time alongside Batman, Superman and Spider-Man, also winning “Best Female Character in a Comic” at the Wizard Fan Awards for three years. Witchblade has sold well over ten million comics worldwide, with licensed product including action figures, clothing, lithographs, calendars, masks and trading cards.

“We are obviously very excited about this project,” stated Relativity’s Ryan Kavanaugh. “The large and loyal fan base that exists for ‘Witchblade’, both in the U.S. and worldwide, is a tremendous platform upon which to expand its popularity to film. We look forward to the opportunity of working with IDG, Platinum and Top Cow to make it happen.”

“IDG Films is pleased and excited to be in business with Ryan and Scott on a property as significant as ‘Witchblade’. Bringing this type of production to China will help to showcase China as a major producer of content for worldwide consumption,” said David Lee of IDG Films.

“We know that shooting a movie and its sequel back-to-back is rare, but ‘Witchblade’ is in good company,” added Platinum Studios’ Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, responsible for bringing the “Men in Black” franchise to Sony. “Look at ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘The Matrix’ or, more recently, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ 2 and 3. When you have a property that you have a lot of faith in, it can really pay off.”

“We are extremely pleased that Platinum Studios, IDG Films and Relativity are bringing ‘Witchblade’ to the big screen — twice! We know they will do a remarkable job,” said Top Cow founder Marc Silvestri. “Top Cow is the most successful independent comics publisher in the past ten years, landing the only original properties of any comic book publisher (not spin-offs or licenses) at the number one position in the sales charts.”

In a recent deal, Platinum Studios has acquired the exclusive rights to develop Top Cow’s extensive library of comic book characters for film and television. Platinum Studios continues expanding upon its huge slate of comic-to-film related projects. A number of Platinum Studios’ and Top Cow’s comic books are set up at most of the major studios, including Meet the Haunteds at NBC/Universal, Cowboys & Aliens at Sony, Unique at Disney, Mal Chance and The Darkness at Miramax, Wanted at Universal, Inferno at Warner Brothers, Rising Stars at MGM and Fathom at Fox, as well as a multi-picture pact with financier Gold Circle.

Source: Platinum Studios