CrossGen signs to create Film and Television franchise

by  in Comic News Comment
CrossGen signs to create Film and Television franchise

Official Press Release

TAMPA, FL, October 4, 2001 – CrossGeneration Comics, Inc. has signed an
exclusive long-range agreement for the development and production of film
and television franchises based upon the complete library of CrossGen’s
properties and characters with Branded Entertainment and its feature film,
television and animation producer, Michael Uslan, executive producer of
Warner Bros.’ “BATMAN” films and numerous other projects.

The agreement – which makes Uslan CrossGen’s exclusive point person in the
world of licensed film, television and animation projects – provides
CrossGen the ability to work with the full range of studios and producers
who are already familiar with Uslan’s behind the scenes work in building
film and television franchises. Except for Uslan’s existing contractual
relationships, CrossGen will now be the only comic book publisher whose
properties will be developed by his company.

Uslan’s credits not only include Warner Bros.’ four live-action “BATMAN”
features, a “BATMAN” animated feature, an animated “BATMAN BEYOND” movie
made directly for home video, and several major upcoming “BATMAN” related
projects, but also an Emmy Award as an executive producer of the “best
animated series”, “WHERE ON EARTH IS CARMEN SANDIEGO?” with DIC and Fox
Kids. Uslan was an executive producer of “ROBIN COOK’S HARMFUL INTENT” for
CBS based on the best seller, and an executive producer of the acclaimed PBS
American Playhouse mini-series, “THREE SOVEREIGNS FOR SARAH”.

“CrossGen’s comic books and trade paperback graphic novels are unlike any
others,” Uslan said. “Rather than concentrating on traditional super-heroes,
the company’s creativity focuses on fantasy, adventure and science fiction
in the vein of “HARRY POTTER” and “LORD OF THE RINGS,” genres geared for
immediate success in today’s motion picture, television and animation
markets. The character development as well as the phenomenal art and
coloring raises the quality bar for the entire comic book industry.”

Like CrossGen’s approach to comic books, CrossGen’s approach to film and
television projects is unconventional.

“This is a unique agreement because of what it is not, rather than what it
is,” said Tony Panaccio, CrossGen’s vice president of product development.
“It’s not an option for our properties. It’s not a studio development deal.
It’s not a traditional character licensing deal where our properties will
sit in development hell for years before being made. It’s not a deal that
conforms to the Hollywood standards, but it doesn’t discard them, either.
Instead, it’s a flexible agreement that will greatly enhance CrossGen’s
ability to place projects directly into production and leap-frog the waiting
game that plagues many comic book-related properties that are optioned by
studios, but never produced.”

CrossGen Publisher and CEO Mark Alessi feels the partnership between
CrossGen and Branded is a perfect fit.

“Michael and I have one very important thing in common,” Alessi said. “We
both love comics. This is a man who has been in and around comics his entire
professional career, and who has made specific choices in his life so that
he could stay close to comics. With that as a launching pad for our
discussions, I found Michael to be one of the most honest, smartest, hardest
working and honorable men I have met in business. We had to work with him.”

CrossGen’s stories and characters have been designed from the very beginning
to map to more mainstream genres, and Uslan believes that this architecture
will lead to strong translations into other mediums.

“My company is called Branded Entertainment for a reason,” said Uslan. “We
search for brands that can be built into worldwide franchises spawning
sequels, television series, cartoons, publishing, music and merchandising.
With CrossGen Comics, we immediately have ten different first-class literary
properties that fit the ‘franchise’ bill, which is what most studios and
networks are looking for right now.”

According to the agreement, Uslan is now CrossGen’s exclusive ambassador in
the television and film industries and will begin actively shopping
CrossGen’s properties to studios, directors, writers and other significant
decision-makers in those industries. Uslan will retain Executive Producer
status on all CrossGen projects, and work to preserve the creative integrity
of CrossGen’s characters as they are translated into other mediums.

About CrossGeneration Comics, Inc.

CrossGeneration Comics is based just outside of Tampa, Florida. Since their
initial launch on May 24, 2000, CrossGen Comics has set unprecedented sales
records for a new start-up comics publisher by debuting their first six
releases on the comic book industry distributor’s Top 100 sales list. Since
then they have grown into the comic industry’s fifth largest publisher. They
were recently awarded the Diamond Gem Awards for Comic Publisher of the Year
(2000) Under 5% Market Share and New Publisher of the Year (2000). CrossGen
Comics is unprecedented in that their entire line of comics is currently
published in three foreign languages and in at least 11 foreign countries.
Their unique and innovative approach to comic book publishing is sure to
make them a company to watch out for well into the new millennium. The
CrossGen Comics, The First, Mystic, Sigil, Scion, Meridian, Crux, and
Sojourn are available now in comic book specialty stores everywhere, with a
different one on sale each Wednesday. Their next monthly title, Ruse, will
be released October 31, 2001, followed by Negation on November 7, and The
Path in February.


The properties now represented by Uslan include the following existing and
planned CrossGen titles:

Mystic – In a world where magic is the rule, not the exception, one woman
finds she must come of age when she unexpectedly becomes her world’s most
powerful Mystic.

Sigil – An aging intergalactic mercenary has to find the hero inside himself
as he is thrust into a planetary war he doesn’t want to fight when he is
miraculously bestowed with ultimate power. To win the war in space, he must
first defeat his own demons.

Scion – Young Prince Ethan goes from favorite fair-haired son to hunted
criminal – and re-ignites an age-old war – when he is gifted with a
mysterious power against the backdrop of his technologically-advanced, yet
medieval world.

Meridian – Young Sephie lived in a world of floating cities and flying tall
ships that by her birthright she would someday lead. But after her father’s
tragic death, her city was invaded and she found herself on the run and
gifted with an enigmatic healing power. Now, in order for this teen-age girl
to save her city, she first has to figure out a way to save herself.

The First – The world Elysia is home to a race of gods… or so they thought
they were. As a mysterious and unpredictable power keeps appearing in the
mortals of their universe, those who believed they were The First are now
wondering who they truly are, and who could have the power to change the
order of their lives.

Crux – A race of advanced beings once inhabited the city of Atlantis. Their
mission: To watch over the human race. But after a mishap of unknown origin,
these beings were awakened tens of thousands of years too late to a planet
bereft of humanity. Their new mission: Find humanity, or die trying.

Sojourn – Three centuries ago, the Five Lands were united by the great
warrior Ayden to defeat the evil warlord Mordath in his bid to rule. Now,
Mordath has been awakened by a power like no one has ever seen, and finished
the conquest thwarted those long centuries ago. So now the archer Arwyn
begins her quest to find the Five Fragments of the arrow that originally
slew Mordath in hopes of defeating him and restoring peace to the Five Lands
once more.

Ruse – Simon Archard is bored. The greatest detective in this Victorian era
world has defeated every adversary who he’s ever faced. Until Miranda Cross,
and the greatest mystery he has ever faced, enters his life. Who is she, and
how is she connected to a string of crimes Archard can’t seem to solve?

Negation – In another universe whose laws of physics defy explanation or
reason, humans are imprisoned alongside races and creatures and beings from
more worlds than can be counted. To escape and find their way back home,
they must band together, avoid the dangers of their new home and figure out
how to defeat their captors, a powerful alien race known only as The

The Path – When the feudal warlord Todosi is granted an arcane power to
defeat his enemies, he is attacked and slain by the very gods to whom he
prayed. Todosi’s brother, a humble monk in the service of these gods,
inherits this power and sets on a new path to make sense of his conflicted

CrossGen signs to create Film and Television franchise