Mumbai, India - Virgin Comics and Studio 18 announced today that they are forming a new production relationship to create a slate of teen horror properties for films, television, games and publishing.
Horror has increasingly become one of the most profitable genres in film worldwide, driven largely by the youth. The new stories, will be co-created and co-owned by Virgin and Studio 18 and initially be released as graphic novels to be published worldwide by Virgin. The partnership anticipates an ongoing slate of teen horror properties to be created each year with the first comic book expected to release end of 2007.
"The exploding youth demographics of India, coupled with the widespread expansion of theatrical chains have created a need for film genre diversification beyond traditional Bollywood films, making this move into horror ideally timed," said Virgin Comics CEO, Sharad Devarajan. "Beyond the domestic market in India, the export and remake success of Japanese horror films like 'The Ring' and 'The Grudge' is indicative of the potential to bring these films worldwide."
"Studio 18 and Virgin Comics will be pioneering the creation of genre- specific content and will be investing in building 'franchises/brands' out of these creative properties. On gauging, the popularity of these properties, these will be launched into features films and exploited on other platforms such as gaming, television series, wireless etc", added Sandeep Bhargava, Chief-Executive-Officer, Studio18
"For centuries, India has enchanted, intrigued, and enlightened the world. Now it's time to scare the hell out of it. Bring your demons, ghosts, and nightmares here and we'll take them to the world," commented Gotham Chopra, Virgin Comics Chief Creative Officer.
India's most innovative directors and screenwriters will be recruited to participate in the creation of the new horror properties. Suresh Seetharaman, President of Virgin Comics and Deepti Chawla, Studio 18,Head- Creative will be supervising all creative processes.
"The most exciting part of this collaboration, is that, as a genre, teen horror allows for introduction of fresh talent in films. It will be challenging to build characters of Indian origin into icons world over " added Ms. Deepti Chawla.
"Today's Indian teens are looking for innovative content that breaks the mold. Teens tend to go to movies in groups and horror films are perfect for this audience because they provide a fun scare that they can experience together," commented Mr. Seetharaman
About Virgin Comics
Virgin Comics LLC is an entertainment and media company creating original stories and epic myths for worldwide audiences. The company was founded in 2005 by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group , alongside author Deepak Chopra , filmmaker Shekhar Kapur and entrepreneurs, Sharad Devarajan, Gotham Chopra and Suresh Seetharaman . Virgin is developing new stories with acclaimed filmmakers, actors and musicians including John Woo, Guy Ritchie, Terry Gilliam, Dave Stewart, Duran Duran and others. Feature films based on Virgin Comics' characters are also in the works, including an animated feature The Secrets of the Seven Sounds and a theatrical live action feature film, The Sadhu in development with actor Nicolas Cage .
About Studio 18
Studio 18 is the full spectrum motion picture division of Network 18 . (Network 18 is the Group Holding Company of TV18, GBN, Web18,and HomeShop18 )
Studio 18, in a span of ten months since its foray into the business of entertainment, have successfully distributed films, such as, Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd, 1971, Namastey London in various territories. Forthcoming co-productions from Studio 18 include, Rajkumar Santoshi's Halla Bol, B. R. Films', Bhootnath and Little Zizou ( co-presented by Mira Nair).