Geeks run gauntlet in 'Ultradome'

Spike Web series to take on fanboy disputes

Who would win in a fight: Gandalf or Darth Vader? What about Neo vs. Harry Potter?

"Heroes" star Milo Ventimiglia is set to appear in and co-produce "Ultradome," a new scripted Web series where passionate fanboys settle hypothetical disputes in a special effects showdown.

"My whole life has been spent engaged with friends in intellectual debate ... like whether Captain Kirk is tougher than Spock or if Middle Earth is a more difficult place to live than Tatooine," Ventimiglia said. "With 'Ultradome,' we can bring these debates to the public and settle them in the most logical way possible: through armed combat."

The project is from Agility Studios along with Ventimiglia's DiVide Pictures. In each three- to five-minute episode, two characters engage in a heated geek-culture debate -- "Who's tougher, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, or Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones?" -- then are transported to a stadium where the duo engage in single combat using all the weaponry, skills and pop culture touchstones from their respective hero's creative arsenal.

The concept is similar to Spike TV's new series "Deadliest Warrior," which reconstructs hypothetical matchups between, for instance, a Samurai and a Viking. Only "Ultradome" is played for laughs with pop culture-driven battles, and shows fans fighting instead of trying to re-create the iconic warriors themselves.

With sci-fi and comic book-friendly content a large driver of online traffic to entertainment sites, the "Ultradome" premise is clearly Web-friendly. Producers said they're currently in negotiations with a couple major portals for distribution and hope to launch this summer.

"We could make episodes of this format ad infinitum," said Keith Quinn, Agility's chief creative officer. "This is the type of thing people talk about over drinks."

Ventimiglia said he and partner Russ Cundiff came up with the idea after putting a couple mock lightsaber battles online and envisioning how Luke Skywalker would slice and dice Mr. Spock.

The actor will appear in the first episode, which pits "Star Wars" vs. "The Lord of the Rings." Ventimiglia will be backing "Rings," but only because his co-star pleaded to represent for "Star Wars."
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