CrossGen signs to create Film and Television franchise

Thu, October 4th, 2001 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Jonah Weiland, Executive Producer/Publisher

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.

BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT/ CROSSGENERATION COMICS FACT SHEETS

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

Negation.

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

world.

 
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