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The long-running History Channel series Ancient Aliens is getting the feature film treatment.
Legendary, which controls the movie rights to the series, has closed a deal for Counterbalance Entertainment, the creators and showrunners of Cobra Kai, to direct and produce the feature project.
Counterbalance’s Josh Heald will direct the feature with the company’s Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and Heald producing, along with Jon Jashni, the former Legendary executive turned producer.
Luke Ryan will write the script and exec produce.
Ancient Aliens is a pseudo-documentary series that has been airing since 2009 and deals with pseudo-science and the idea that extraterrestrial beings visited Earth in ancient times, sometimes provoking cultures into thinking they were gods.
Details of the project are being kept under wraps, but according to Legendary, the story “will be a two-handed, globe-spanning adventure featuring ancient sites and artifacts, confronting the theories and questions raised by the popular docuseries.”
The series was exec produced by Kevin Burns, an Emmy-winning TV executive who produced countless hours of nonfiction programming for History, A&E, National Geographic and others. Burns, who died in September, was previously partners with Jashni at Synthesis Entertainment.
The show has run almost 200 episodes and is now in its 16th season. Legendary notes that the show spawned AlienCon, a convention based around Ancient Astronaut Theorist discussions that has been attracting 50,000 visitors a year since 2016.
Ryan began his career as an executive at New Line before segueing into screenwriting, working on projects for numerous studios. He also founded Chaotic Good, a company that specializes in franchise design and worldbuilding, and has consulted on expansive cross-platform IP for clients such as Disney, Amazon, Warner Media and Fox.
Heald, Hurtwitz and Schlossberg built their résumés in the comedy world (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle was an early credit) but expanded their experience with Cobra Kai, the hit series that reintroduced the world of the 1980s Karate Kid films to a new generation. The trio act as creators, write, and exec produce and direct the show.
Ryan is repped by Verve, Fourth Wall Management and The Nord Group. Counterbalance is repped by CAA, with Heald being additionally repped by Behr Abramson.
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