Summit develops 'Push' TV series

Partners with E1 on small-screen extension of sci-fi thriller

Summit Entertainment, the upstart film outfit behind the "Twilight" phenom as well as critical fave "The Hurt Locker," is doing what all clever indies do: "pushing" into TV.

The company is partnering with another indie, E1 Entertainment, to jointly develop and produce a TV series based on Summit's recent pic "Push."

The series will purportedly be an extension of the science-fiction thriller, centered on people with paranormal powers who band together to take down a corrupt government agency. The small-screen "Push" project furthers the relationship established in 2007 between Summit and E1, with the latter licensing exclusive distribution rights to Summit-produced movies in the U.K. and Canada.

Screenwriter David Hayter, who penned "Watchmen" and two of the "X-Men" movies, will script the series pilot. E1 and Dark Hero Studios, co-owned by Hayter and producing partner Benedict Carver, will jointly produce the series based on the screenplay created by David Bourla for Summit. Hayter and Carver will also exec produce, along with E1 toppers Noreen Halpern and John Morayniss.

Summit, E1 and Dark Hero are currently in discussion with Stateside broadcasters about the series. Hayter and Dark Hero are repped by UTA.

"The concept behind the 'Push' feature film offers a broad and rich canvas on which to extend the story line and characters introduced in the feature film," said Summit co-chairmen Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger in a statement. "The project is also the perfect vehicle to initiate Summit's plans of producing programming for the global TV marketplace."

John Morayniss, CEO of E1 Television, suggested that this was "a perfect fit" moment: "David Hayter's work on 'Watchmen' gives him superhero status on the sci-fi front and instantly ensures that 'Push' gets the right kind of attention."

Summit and E1 will jointly arrange for the U.S. TV license deal for the series. E1 is set to handle the TV sale in Canada as well as home video and broadcasting rights in Canada, Britain and Benelux. Summit will handle home video in the States. The two partners will split foreign sales by each handling separate territories.

Summit released the movie "Push" on Feb. 6, 2009. Directed by Paul McGuigan and starring Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Camilla Belle and Djimon Hounsou, the pic grossed nearly $50 million worldwide.

E1, which is listed on the AIM stock exchange in London, operates in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Holland and Belgium. Its TV division recently announced a partnership with Stephen King to produce and distribute a series for Syfy called "Haven," based on the author's novela "The Colorado Kid." The company also produces "Hung" for HBO and the upcoming "Copper" for ABC and CanWest in Canada.