Virgin, Studio 18 to explore horror genre

MUMBAI: Along with TV 18’s 50:50 joint venture with Viacom, the former’s film studio arm Studio 18 has also formed a new production relationship with Virgin Comics 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. 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,” said Virgin Comics CEO Sharad Devarajan.

“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 Studio 18 CEO Sandeep Bhargava.

Directors and screenwriters will be recruited to participate in the creation of the new horror properties. Virgin Comics president Suresh Seetharaman and Studio 18 head creative Deepti Chawla will be supervising all creative processes.

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