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Warner Bros. is raising the curtain on its digital production unit.
The studio has named the division Blue Ribbon Content and has unveiled a development slate of short-form, live-action series that range from a comic book adaptation to a Girl Scouts spoof to a virtual reality experience featuring Batman.
The Blue Ribbon banner is headed by Sam Register, an animation veteran who was tapped as president of Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series in April. Register’s team includes Andrew Mellett, senior vp distribution and strategy, who manages the division’s financial operations, business affairs, and distribution and sponsorship deals.
“We are tremendously excited about Blue Ribbon Content’s initial slate of development projects, and we are incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such a talented group of writers and producers on projects that they feel exceptionally passionate about,” Register said. “We look forward to delivering compelling and memorable programming for our fans and distribution partners.”
Blue Ribbon has already given series orders to three shows, including an untitled Mortal Kombat series produced in partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment that is tied to the upcoming Mortal Kombat X video game release in April 2015. The series is said to showcase some of the franchise’s “most storied characters” and will introduce a new generation of fighters. It joins previously announced series Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles, which will debut on Machinima in 2015, and Play It Again, Dick, a spinoff of Veronica Mars for CW Seed.
The unit’s development slate includes three comedy and three action/sci-fi projects. On the comedy side is Ginger Snaps, which chronicles the competitive and ruthless world Girl Scouting from Sonali Patel, a staff writer on NBC’s A to Z, and Golden Revenge, about a cat and dog abandoned after their owner gets married.
The action series include Static Shock, an adaptation of the Static comic from writer-producer-director Reginald Hudlin (Django Unchained). Also in development are Ouroboros from Akiva Goldsman (Paranormal Activity) and Damon Santostefano, which follows two police officers over one night in a remote part of Wisconsin.
Blue Ribbon is also trying its hand at virtual reality with the previously announced Batman: The Animated Series Experience, which will bring the Batcave to life with an interactive holographic display.
Here is the full development slate:
RejecTED — We’ve all witnessed countless inspiring words of wisdom from world-renowned speakers on technology, entertainment and design. But not everyone can get on that stage, due to an ultra-competitive selection process that leaves many behind. Check out some of the lesser-known and just completely rejected speeches that the world never got to hear, until now, in this original satirical comedy from Rachel Ramras, Larry Dorf and Hugh Davidson (all of Mike Tyson Mysteries).
Ginger Snaps — The world of scouting has never been so competitive … or ruthless. Follow a troop of young girls as they backstab, manipulate and sabotage their way through the seedy underworld of the Ginger Snaps and preserve their power and influence at the top of the cookie pile in this original comedy from writer Sonali Patel. Ginger Snaps emerged from the Warner Bros. Television Workshop’s Fresh Ink initiative, which is dedicated to seeking out new and diverse voices from within the creative community, with the goal of developing comedy and drama ideas from women and ethnic minority writers into viable scripts for presentation to the marketplace. Patel is currently a staff writer on the new Warner Bros. Television comedy A to Z for NBC.
Golden Revenge — Two adorable house pets, a cat and dog, love their life with their owner. His new wife? Not so much. After receiving an “it’s me or the pets” ultimatum, the husband takes the cat and dog deep into the forest and leaves them behind in this original comedy. Now it’s up to the pets to find their way across the country and back to their beloved owner — in order to exact their revenge! Golden Revenge is from Tom Stern and Josh Gardner, and produced by Conaco.
Ouroboros — Original horror/thriller from Weed Road Pictures, producer Akiva Goldsman (executive producer of the Paranormal Activity franchise) and writer/director/producer Damon Santostefano follows two police officers over the course of one night in a remote part of Wisconsin as they are overwhelmed by a series of mysterious attacks … and an epidemic of possession.
Static Shock — Writer/producer/director Reginald Hudlin (Best Picture Oscar nominee for producing Django Unchained) leads the creative team behind a live-action adaptation of Static Shock, featuring the African-American super hero Static, aka Virgil Ovid Hawkins. Static Shock is based on the Static comic co-created by the late Dwayne McDuffie with co-writer Robert L. Washington III and artist John Paul Leon, which was originally published by the DC Comics imprint Milestone Comics and, later, by DC Comics. Milestone Media co-founder/comic book artist/TV producer Denys Cowan (the original Static Shock animated series) is collaborating with Hudlin on the new Static Shock.
Critters — Blue Ribbon revisits the world of the legendary New Line Cinema cult classic movie franchise, as a new batch of alien pests descends upon the planet in this new digital series written by Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath (Teen Titans Go!).
Batman: The Animated Series Experience — As previously announced, Blue Ribbon, DC Entertainment and visual effects pioneer OTOY are teaming up on an immersive entertainment experience that will see the Batcave from the acclaimed Emmy Award–winning Batman: The Animated Series brought to life via interactive holographic video for virtual reality displays. OTOY is collaborating with series producer Bruce Timm on this interactive narrative experience which will give fans the opportunity to explore Batman’s world like never before, allowing them to feel what it is like to be inside the show’s stylized universe on devices such as the Samsung GALAXY Gear VR, the Oculus Rift, and on forthcoming “glasses-free” light field displays that will power future TV and mobile devices.
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