India's Virgin Comics, Studio 18 team


NEW DELHI -- India's Virgin Comics and new Mumbai-based film company Studio 18 have announced the formation of a new production relationship covering a slate of teen horror properties for films, television, games and publishing.

Virgin Comics, established more than a year ago by principals Richard Branson, new age guru Deepak Chopra and Indian helmer Shekhar Kapur, already has bowed its first set of comic titles.

But the deal with Studio 18 will see the partnership collaborate on new stories to be co-owned and released initially as graphic novels published worldwide by Virgin. with the first titles due by the end of 2007.

"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," Studio 18 CEO Sandeep Bhargava said.

Added Virgin Comics chief creative officer Gotham Chopra: "For centuries, India has enchanted, intrigued, and enlightened the world. Now it's time to scare the hell out of it. Bring your demons, ghosts and nightmares here and we'll take them to the world."

Promoted by New Delhi-headquartered broadcaster TV18, which runs news joint ventures CNBC-TV18 and CNN-IBN, Studio 18 was launched to focus on film projects.