UTV Motion Pictures Plc , through its movie production brand SpotBoy, and Virgin Comics, an entertainment division of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, announced today that they are forming a new production relationship to create four original superhero franchises. These new stories will be leveraged across publishing, film, animation and gaming.
Aimed at India’s 550 Million youth as well as the growing worldwide fascination with superhero characters, the new partnership intends to create new entertainment characters that are rooted in an Indian ideology and borne from the minds of the country’s leading writers and artists. According to a recent Hollywood study, films based on comic books earn more on average than films based on any other source material, averaging $215 Million per film worldwide.
Virgin Comics’ CEO, Sharad Devarajan commented “In the same way the West created an age of heroes wearing capes and tights, our goal with UTV Motion Pictures is to redefine the archetype of the superhero and infuse a new sensibility that relates to today’s Indian youth. Virgin’s studio of leading Indian artists and writers have already created comics that are being published worldwide and turned into films, games and animation – this new relationship with UTV Motion Pictures is a perfect extension of what we do best and we are thrilled to be working with Ronnie and his team.”
Ronnie Screwvala, Chairman of UTV Motion Pictures Plc said “Virgin Comics is an ideal partner as we look to develop new content in the character entertainment space. Their expertise and global resources will allow us to create superheroes that touch the hearts of audiences worldwide.”
“For too long, western superheroes have dominated the stage, but in India, the original mythic characters were born and we are now ready for a re-launch of larger than life heroes that will reflect the ancestral ethos of the region from which they spawn. We expect this partnership with UTV Motion Pictures to launch a whole new universe of heroes and I couldn’t be more excited,” commented Gotham Chopra, Virgin Comics Chief Creative Officer.
The new stories, will be co-created and co-owned by Virgin and UTV Motion Pictures and initially be released as graphic novels to be published worldwide by Virgin. The partnership anticipates the first comic books will be released by the end of 2007.
Suresh Seetharaman, President of Virgin Comics and Vikas Bahl Creative and Business Head, Spotboy will be managing the partnership and supervising the creative development.
“At SpotBoy we want to capture the imagination of audiences from all dimensions and mediums. So when we will create stories for all mediums the creative is bound to take a leap.” added Vikas, “Our characters will exist in every creative form.”
“It’s time for a new wave of Indian superheroes to fuel the imaginations and foster the inspirations of the next generation of global kids and teens,” commented Seetharaman.