Scream test for Fangoria Films


Horror brand Fangoria is launching a genre film label and has tapped CAA to raise the financing, which is expected to top $100 million. Brian Witten, a former Paramount Pictures and New Line Cinema executive, has been named president of Fangoria Films, which will produce three to four films per year.

Based in Beverly Hills, the label will focus on the development and production of horror projects for theatrical release. Under Witten's leadership, the company will forge alliances with studios and independents for the production and distribution of Fangoria-branded fare. Financing and distribution details are expected to be finalized over the next six months.

Fangoria magazine, which for years has served as the genre's bible, has spawned several incarnations across myriad media platforms catering to the rabid horror fan base. In August, Fangoria parent company Creative Group started a broadband TV network to complement other brand ventures, including its Fangoria Radio program on Sirius Satellite Radio.

"Horror represents one of the hottest genres in film entertainment, and Fangoria is the genre's most dominant brand," said Tom DeFeo, managing partner at Fangoria Entertainment. "We look forward to benefiting from Brian's vast feature film experience as we grow Fangoria Films into a premier producer of top-quality horror motion pictures."

Fangoria Entertainment also teamed with Fuse to launch the fuse Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, the premier awards show spotlighting the best in music, horror, cinema and television. This year, the company will introduce Fangoria Comics, a line of comic book titles based on original horror characters and themes.

"We are using our brand to be a one-stop shop for horror," said Tony Timpone, editor of Fangoria magazine and sister Web site, who will play a producing or consulting role on Fangoria's films, depending on the project. "We want to be the Disney of horror."

Witten segues to Fangoria Films after building a horror-heavy slate of films under his Witten Pictures banner, including a new chapter in the "Friday the 13th" franchise, which he is producing with Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes for New Line, and a feature based on the Stephen King short story "The Breathing Method" with screenwriter Mark Haslett. Witten also is spearheading several other projects at Warner Bros. Pictures and Dimension.

During his five-year stint at Paramount, Witten oversaw production on such releases as "Mission: Impossible III," "The Longest Yard" and "Four Brothers." At New Line, he oversaw such films as "Final Destination," "Spawn" and "Dark City." Witten, who began his career working alongside comic book guru Rob Liefeld at Extreme Pictures, will help cultivate the original horror titles under development with Fangoria Comics.