Prolific film & television producer Barry Josephson (Enchanted, Bones) has signed on with Magic Storm Entertainment to produce the legendary Stan Lee's creation Annihilator. The film script has been penned by Dan Gilroy (The Bourne Legacy/Real Steel).
Annihilator tells the story of a young Chinese expatriate, Ming, who must choose between remaining in prison or enlist in a secret US super soldier program. The program uses targeted genetic enhancements from various animal species. Ming chooses to undergo this nearly fatal procedure and through his extreme resolve, gained as a result of his family's tradition of practicing Qijong and martial arts, he survives. Now, armed with remarkable abilities, he must confront a former rival with his own set of enhanced faculties. Our reluctant hero is forced not only to face his personal demons, but also to defeat the villain who will destroy everything that he knows and loves.
Here's what Magic Storm Entertainment CEO Eric Mika had to say about Barry Josephson joining the project.
"Barry is the perfect partner at every level to produce a film of this magnitude that targets a global market, including mainland China. Barry's talents combined with Dan Gilroy's explosive script makes Stan Lee's treatment extremely powerful and a cornerstone for a unique franchise."
Also producing is Douglas Falconer. Doug's recent credits include The Warrior's Way starring Kate Bosworth. Doug is currently producing the biopic film chronicling the life of Wall Street legend Reginald Lewis, Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun? starring Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx, The Magician, The Marlin Briscoe Story, screenplay by Gregory Allen Howard (Ali, Remember the Titans), Last Days Here starring Kim Coates (Open Range, Black Hawk Down), and 500, a screenplay by Angelo Pizzo (Rudy, Hoosiers). Here's what Eric Mika said about Douglas Falconer coming aboard.
"Doug brings a unique business perspective to this film and understands the global brand value."
Yang Buting, Chairman of China State run National Film Capital, NFC, who In July 2012 inked a Co-Production/Co-Finance agreement with Magic Storm Entertainment, also released a statement.
"We are delighted to have Barry Josephson as our Producer for the Annihilator. He will create a genuine co-production that will have both a global appeal and perform well with audiences in China. We are very pleased to have Barry and Doug join this major co-production. National Film Capital will draw on an initial $422 million raised by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and other partners."
Producer Barry Josephson also released a statement about joining the project.
"One of my dreams when I became a producer was to work with Stan Lee. Now with Dan Gilroy's magnificent script, that dream will become a reality."
Josephson has over 30 years in the industry, during which he was the president of Worldwide Productions at Sony Columbia Pictures and has been an independent producer at Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, and Universal Pictures. As a studio executive, some of the films Josephson developed were Men In Black, Air Force One, In the Line of Fire, The Fifth Element, Bad Boys, The People vs. Larry Flynt, and The Professional. During those years he worked with international superstars such as Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Bruce Willis, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. As a producer Josephson has produced the hit family film Enchanted, which has grossed over 350 million at the worldwide box office. Among his many other credits are Hide and Seek (Robert De Niro), The Ladykillers (Tom Hanks), Life as We Know It (Katherine Heigl), Wild Wild West (Will Smith), and the long running international hit FOX television series Bones.
POW!'s Stan Lee also issued a statement.
"Connecting with my fans in China and worldwide has always been incredibly important to me and so I am beyond thrilled that I get the chance to create such a fascinating and powerful Chinese superhero with the Annihilator, in partnership with Magic Storm Entertainment and Barry Josephson. Dan's story and character is unlike anything I have developed before, so I wait with intrigue as we begin to reveal more details about the Annihilator franchise and to hear what audiences think as they immerse themselves into his world through the film. We are thrilled to welcome Barry Josephson on board to produce the film."
James Thoma of Stradling is providing legal services for the project.