>> World’s First Futuristic Ostrich-Battle Movie!

joust.gifNewly formed Hollywood production company, CP Productions, is bringing a number of new and classic games to the big screen and comic books. In addition, the company will package its sci-fi, fantasy and horror movies with video games. Hollywood Producers Christine Peters (Area 51, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days) and Michael Cerenzie (Blackout, Black Water Transit) created CP Productions to focus on the under-25 filmgoer. The first of many projects coming from the new production studio is a new imagining of Midway Games’ classic Joust arcade game.

Joust is an arcade game that’s as old as Pac-Man and has global awareness,” said Cerenzie. “We took one element of the game and the brand itself and built a whole new world around it for the film.”

Cerenzie calls the new script by Marc Gottlieb “Gladiator meets Mad Max.” The film is set 25 years in the future and includes a Las Vegas suspended in mid-air.

“We’ve updated the game into a commercial, tent pole movie,” said Cerenzie. “Marc has done an amazing job in creating a tantalizing and filmic world based on the original game.”

“This film is the type of action-packed story that appeals to all four quadrants of the movie-going public and we are excited to be in the Midway Games business once again,” said Peters.

“You need these kids to come in on Friday with a film’s opening today because they’re texting their friends right after the movie and you no longer have until Sunday,” said Cerenzie.

The plan is to launch the new Joust franchise with a graphic novel, which is being penned by Steven Elliot Altman of DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics, and will be based on Gottlieb’s screenplay. The film has been given the fast track by CP Productions and should be wrapped by June 2008. Several A-list directors are already interested in helming this sci-fi/action project.

Midway Games has a first-look deal with CP Productions on all of its projects and the game maker is interested in launching a new game franchise based on this film, according to Cerenzie. With the number of projects in the works, it’s also likely that CP Productions will work with additional game makers. Cerenzie said that 80 percent of the company’s film projects will have some type of game component.

“We’ll cap each film with a moderate budget and bring in awareness with games, graphic novels, and toys,” said Peters. “If you look at what Transformers did this summer, it reached well beyond the P&A. Today’s kids grew up with games and graphic novels and we have that type of fan base to tap into with these projects.”

Paramount Pictures has a first-look deal with CP Productions on the theatrical side and Cerenzie expects that studio to work on two to three projects a year. CP Productions will also work with other Hollywood studios on its films.

“I did all of my films with independent financing, which is a model we’re doing with this company,” said Cerenzie. “We’re doing a lot of co-financing deals with studios and in some cases we’re just using them for distribution. We’re bringing money to the table, plus the video games, which gets a greenlight much quicker in Hollywood.”

It’s this business model, coupled with the gaming component, which should make the game, film and graphic novel deals announced more than just a press release. These movies will be made, according to Peters. And these movies will allow the directors and creative people behind them to have control of their visions.

“We’ll work to keep the creative team intact throughout the process,” said Cerenzie. “We won’t have eight writers and six executives trying to put their thumbprint on the film. The vision of the filmmakers will be kept pure.”

GameDaily

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