SAN DIEGO, DAY 2: Top Cow talks Hollywood projects

At Friday's Top Cow panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego, President of Production Spike Seldin ran down a list of projects the studio is developing as for film and television.

Topping the list is a new focus on the Fathom movie, which is now being developed as a live action concept rather than an animated feature. The movie is still set up at 20th Century Fox. Top Cow is currently negotiating with a major producer. Pending that deal they're ready to begin developing a script for the film.

Other projects on the slate for Top Cow include Rising Stars, which Seldin reports has a great script from creator Joe Michael Straczinski, The Cleaner, which has John Woo producing, The Project, which is due out as a comic soon, and the recently announced Inferno, which Joel Silver is producing.

The comic book version of Inferno is due out with a Wizard #0 issue in October, followed by the start of the regular series in November. Marc Silvestri talked extensively about the concept, which could be described as the Dirty Dozen in Hell. It takes place in a world where a gateway to the netherworld has been opened, and the key to closing the door has been dropped into the inferno. Each night the Earth is ravaged by demonic hordes.

Attempts to send retrieval teams consistently fail as the essentially good operatives are not permitted in Hell...only those bound for damnation may enter. Given that, a new team is recruited pulled from the worst humanity has to offer.

The ongoing comic would depart from the movie, in that it would extend the stay of the hell bound team and allow them to explore the underworld more extensively.

Other Top Cow titles currently being shopped for development are The Magdalena and No Honor.

The Top Cow team also talked about the Witchblade TV series. "I feel that what we're doing with Witchblade is the coolest comic adaptation ever done for TV," Silvestri told the audience.

The Top Cow chief addressed fan questions about why the Witchblade has the medieval look that it has, rather than the bio-armor look found in the comics. Silvestri said that one reason is that they are attempting to link the artifact to the Joan of Arc story, as a way of making the concept more accessible to mainstream viewers. However, he also said that the Witchblade will morph into something "more contemporary and specific to Sara" as the show wears on.

Silvestri said there are no plans for an ongoing show yet. However, TNT remains open to the idea as long as the current series pulls a 2.0 rating.

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