'Jonas Moore' becomes virtual reality

MGM may develop online graphic novel as a TV series

MGM Domestic Television Distribution has optioned Factory Publishing's "The Many Worlds of Jonas Moore" with an eye toward developing the online graphic novel as a possible TV series.

"Jonas" -- written, produced and directed by Howard Webster -- is set in a time where the British Empire has never ended and America is just one of thousands of virtual worlds hosted on a vast global game network. When Jonas Moore (Colin Salmon), a character created by the network's founder, becomes self-aware, he is tagged by the network as a virus and goes on the run. He begins spreading his knowledge of the games to the other characters, which precipitates a revolution and fight for freedom against the murderously addicted real-world gamers.

MGM is understood to be considering all potential distribution avenues, including broadcast, cable, syndication and international.

"Jonas" is "an exciting digital graphic novel that's creating quite a sensation abroad," MGM worldwide TV executive vp Chris Ottinger said. "We see this as a great concept that will make an exciting series for worldwide audiences."

"Jonas" was nominated for a Mobile and Internet TV Award at MIPCOM 2007 and was an honoree at this year's Webby Awards. Ruth Vitale of the Film Collective brought the project to MGM and is attached as an executive producer.