Universal Pictures and Dark Horse Entertainment have signed a three-year production and distribution agreement that establishes a studio home for all of Dark Horse's creative properties going forward. The agreement was jointly announced by Marc Shmuger and David Linde, Chairman and Co-Chairman of Universal Pictures; and Mike Richardson, founder and President of Dark Horse.
Under the terms of the deal, Universal would have creative access to all Dark Horse characters and properties, as well as any material that Dark Horse might acquire on its own and want to develop as a motion picture. In addition, Dark Horse would have the opportunity to distribute movies through Universal.
Universal Pictures is opening Hellboy II: The Golden Army, directed by Guillermo del Toro and based on Mike Mignola's Dark Horse Comics character, on July 11, 2008.
"Dark Horse is one of the most creative and innovative brands in the entertainment industry, as well as an incredibly supportive home for some of the most exciting storytellers working today," said Shmuger and Linde in a joint statement. "Their unique connection to youth culture is proven, and we are thrilled to be part of their expanding film production work."
Mike Richardson responded, "We've worked with many studios and have had several great experiences, but we are particularly happy to be joining forces with Universal Pictures in this deal. We feel a real connection with their vision and the energy and creativity they bring to developing our properties. We are also excited by the option that we'll have to independently produce our own material and distribute it through Universal; their flexibility in this collaboration is what we were looking for, and we're glad we found it."
Donna Langley, President of Production, Universal Pictures, added, "We are very much looking forward to working with Dark Horse's talented writers and artists, and to realizing their wealth of creative content onscreen."
Dark Horse Entertainment is represented by Endeavor and The Gotham Group.