While IDW’s flag was planted by the film adaptation of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, since then they’ve been more in the licensed comics business, with a few hits like LOCKE AND KEY, which bounced around the development wheels of Hollywood. Well, looking to be more proactive, they’re opening a TV division, the LA Times reports. David Ozer, formerly of Starz Media and an executive producer on The Walking Dead, will run the division, called IDW Entertainment. Circle of Confusion, IDW’s longtime management company, will oversee development as well as house the effort in their offices.
Following a path similar to Marvel Studios’, IDW plans to develop and finance its own projects and retain the rights, thereby maintaining more creative and financial control.
‘IDW is a powerhouse of creativity, and the studios recognize that potential,’ said Rick Jacobs, a Circle of Confusion producer and chief creative officer of the new TV division. ‘By financing its own television projects, the company is now poised to become a major player across all media platforms. Our hope is that we will be able to … move faster to get these projects from the comic books to being on the air, as opposed to getting mired down in the long development process.’
IDW already has a a bunch of projects in development, including:
- Life Undead, a New Orleans supernatual detective story, co-executive-produced by Chris Pollack with Paul Zbyszewski (S.H.I.E.L.D and Lost)
- Brooklyn Animal Control, a New York based werewolf story, with writer-director J.T. Petty and artist Stephen Thompson attached.
- V Wars, based on the Vampire Wars books by Jonathan Maberry
- Lore, based on Ashley Wood’s comic, is in development as a film at Disney.
- World War Robot, another Wood project currently being developed by Jerry Bruckheimer.
- Zombies vs. Robots, another project by Wood and IDW’S e-i-c Chriss Ryall, is at Sony Pictures.
Some tidbits from the piece:
- IDW has 42 employees and uses 275 freelance artists around the world.
- Sales this year are expected to be about 5 million comic books and 1 million graphic novels, for about $20 million.
- Sales are up 35% this year over last.
- IDW hopes to have one project on TV by the end of 2014
In a statement, IDW added some info on Ozer:
An accomplished global television executive, David Ozer brings his extensive experience in sales and financing to IDW Entertainment. In his new role, Ozer will work with Adams to identify, develop and oversee brand extensions across IDW Publishing’s portfolio of comics and graphic novels for the global television market. A key focus for the division is the financing, development and production of television series with the goal of securing straight-to-series commitments from networks. Ozer’s background includes executive level roles at Sonar Entertainment, Starz Media/IDT Entertainment and DIC Entertainment.