October 17, 2013 10:51am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Comics Publisher IDW Launches TV Division With 'Walking Dead' EP Attached
Comics publisher IDW is pushing into television.
IDW, which publishes more than 300 original properties, has launched IDW Entertainment in an effort to fund and develop new television properties based on its massive catalog. David Ozer will oversee the division as president.
Ozer will work with IDW publisher and CEO Ted Adams to identify, develop and oversee brand extensions across its portfolio of comics and graphic novels for the television market. The division will focus on financing, development and production of TV series with the goal of securing rare but increasingly proffered straight-to-series commitments from networks. He comes to IDW from executive roles at Sonar Entertainment, Starz Media/IDT Entertainment and DIC Entertainment.
Circle of Confusion, the shingle that executive produces AMC's The Walking Dead and creator Robert Kirkman's upcoming TV adaptation of comic Outcast, will oversee packaging and creative development of the division and will executive produce the company's projects under Rick Jacobs.
Initial titles under consideration include Life Undead, from co-EP Chris Pollack with showrunner Paul Zbyszewski (Agents of SHIELD, Lost), who penned the comic book attached; Brooklyn Animal Control, based on the dark comic from writer-director J.T. Petty (Splinter Cell) and artists Stephen Thompson; and V Wars, which is edited by New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Maberry. For its part, IDW Entertainment is already in talks with a network to bring V Wars to the screen.
"IDW Publishing's significant growth over the past several years, particularly in the theatrical arena with a number of properties currently in development at major studios, together with the ever increasing popularity of our creator-owned titles, have provided us with the ideal opportunity to expand into multiplatform entertainment," Adams said. "David's depth of distribution and finance expertise in television, coupled with his production knowledge and his extensive relationships within the entertainment community, make him the perfect choice for spearheading our aggressive move into television."
Added Jacobs: "The timing couldn't be better for IDW Publishing to invest in television production. IDW is a powerhouse of creativity, and the film studios recognize that potential. By financing its own television projects, the company is now poised to become a major player across all media platforms. We're very excited to continue to help expand IDW's reach beyond publishing."
On the feature side, IDW has a number of projects in development, including Lore with Warner Bros. and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson; World War Robot at Disney with Jerry Bruckheimer attached; and Zombies vs. Robots at Sony.
CAA packaged the deal.
The news comes as comics-themed fare continues to be a hot property on the small screen. ABC's Marvel Comics-inspired Avengers follow-up Agents of SHIELD has already been picked up for a full season, and Fox has given a straight-to-series commitment to Gotham, a prequel centering on Batman's Commissioner Gordon. Fox is also prepping an adaptation of Alan Moore's Vertigo favorite The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.