Benderspink, Arcana Launch Film-Friendly Comics Line

EXCLUSIVE: Benderspink and Sean Patrick O’Reilly’s Arcana Comics are launching ArcanaBenderspink Comics, a label that will publish under the Arcana brand. The idea: hatch comics that can be turned into movie and TV properties. The partnership comes out of JC Spink and Sean O’Reilly’s strong relationship after setting up the Arcana comic book Continuum at New Line. “What I thought made this a great partnership was that Sean not only knows how to make a great comic but he’s actually produced movies,” Spink said. “I don’t know any comic publishers that have his producing experience.” Benderspink partner Jake Weiner said that the comics label is a byproduct of the company’s increased focus on generating intellectual properties. “This is one of five IP creation deals we are entering into along with deals in mobile content/apps, Y/A publishing, videogames, and toys.”

Benderspink has already been tapping comics for films, as the company has percolating Y The Last Man at New Line, Area 52 at Summit, The Mighty at Paramount, Ghouly Boys at Mandate, and Undying Love at Warners. “Jake, JC, Sean, and I are looking to partner with other producers and then start shopping these projects to studios in the next few weeks,” Chris Bender said. “What we wanted to do differently was have studios option the projects inexpensively and then hire writers as the studio helps us develop the comic. I think this makes it a no lose proposition for everyone.”
Arcana founder Sean O’Reilly said the venture was a good fit because Benderspink is so steeped in comics. “And they produced one of what I think is the top 3 comic book movies ever with A History of Violence,” O’Reilly said. They start with 20 comics:
* Legacy: During an emergency surgery, doctors operating on Alex Sullivan discover that he is something more than human. When the entire hospital explodes, Alex escapes to find out who or what he is and why people are trying to kill him.
* The Order: The Vatican has created an elite group of agents to travel the world and combat supernatural forces.
* The Numbered: Betrayed and unjustly sentenced to death a notorious crew of seven galactic mercenaries escape to the last free planet of the universe. Tracked by the ruthless Galactic Overlord Earth is given an ultimatum surrender The Numbered or be destroyed. Cook and Weisberg are attached.
* Bishop: When a government operative goes undercover to infiltrate a secret illuminati type group, he begins to realize that the people he’s been sent to take down may actually be the good guys.
* Below: When the police aren’t able to catch a new group of ruthless criminals who commit crimes against the defenseless, the leaders of the underworld band together to use methods the police can’t in order to bring them to justice.
* Target Earth: A lone scientist believes the warning from an imprisioned alien, who declares an invasion coming from a more powerful group of aliens. He frees the alien and they end up on the run from the government and the advance guard of hostile aliens as they try to save our planet.
* The Hunt: Five years after taking out a terrorist leader, an ex-Seal who was part of the special unit that did the job discovers that his fellow team members are being killed and he is next on the list.
* War Of The Gods: At the dawn of humanity, a multitude of gods from Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Nordic, Hindu, Chinese, and Aztec lore do battle against each other for control of the world.
* Dime Detectives: The story of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler who teamed up to work as detectives and roughly based their fictional characters Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe on their own real life exploits.
* Foretold: A young man is brought to the future to fight the most powerful being who has taken over the world 30 years later – himself.
* Kill On Sight: When a group of professional thieves steal 30 million dollars from a covert, black-ops CIA program the program responds by sending a team to NYC to kill the thieves and retrieve the money.
* Untouchable: In 2012 Al Capone’s great nephew has become a cop, trying to make right some of the wrong done by his family in the past, and has to track down Chicago’s most notorious criminal, the great-grandson of Elliot Ness.
* Countdown To Armageddon: With the better years of his career behind him, a once-great rapper returns to his hometown where in order to save his son he gets pulled back into his old life and has to fight everything he thought he had left behind.
* Supersonic: Top Gun underwater with subs developed by DARPA to travel at super speeds.
* 2076: When America is taken over in 2076, Revolutionaries fight a second war for American independence.
* Revelation: A disbelieving NORAD agent’s faith is tested when he begins to suspect a man’s rise to power mimic’s the 12 signs of the Anti-Christ from the book of Revelation.
* The Surface: Grant Roberts, his ex-girlfriend, and her best friend attempt to escape Chicago after terrorist attacks that they begin to realize are extraterrestrial in nature. Based on the Mike and Tim Schneider script The Surface.
* Atlantis: One hundred and fifty years after a plague has ravaged Earth and the wealthy and privileged have retreated to live in a bio-dome under the ocean, their resources run out and they have to return to the surface where they’re met by a bitter resistance from the ancestors of those they left above ground to die.
* The Triangle: A group of researchers who uncover the secret of the Bermuda Triangle and travel to a different dimension have to figure out how to get back in order to help save the world.
* Langley High: A student at Langley High, a school located less than two miles away from the CIA headquarters in Virginia, teams with an undercover CIA agent who’s been posing as a teacher to help rescue his father who’s been captured in Russia and disavowed by the agency. Atlas Entertainment is attached to Langley High. The comic is being adapted by Benderspink’s Christopher Cosmos.

Comments (19)

  • I guess original ideas are hard to pitch in Hollywood.

    Comment by ILDC — Thursday February 9, 2012 @ 4:57pm PST  
  • Male characters only, apparently.

    Comment by Al — Thursday February 9, 2012 @ 5:19pm PST  
  • Some of these actually sound cool.

    Comment by Ted Nussbaum — Thursday February 9, 2012 @ 5:25pm PST  
  • Man, these all sound horrible.

    Comment by TheBen — Thursday February 9, 2012 @ 5:44pm PST  
  • Those concepts sound the same as a list of sci fi TV series pilots in contention this season. Or any season. Why bother to make them comics first?

    Comment by scifi_fan — Thursday February 9, 2012 @ 5:46pm PST  
  • Because Hollywood has been so unfriendly to comics in the last twenty years?
    Or is it, these un-produced scripts will get “heat & buzz” if we publish them as comics?

    Comment by trying to stay awake — Thursday February 9, 2012 @ 5:48pm PST  
  • It’s sad to see grown men reading comics.

    Comment by Get A Life — Thursday February 9, 2012 @ 6:43pm PST  
  • Those are a lot of titles for a company that’s just coming out. Probably would have been wiser to introduce two or three, let them establish themselves, then add another title or two because with the Big Two dominating comic shop shelves, I don’t see these new titles surviving.

    Comment by screenphile1 — Thursday February 9, 2012 @ 7:07pm PST  
  • Love about half these ideas!

    Comment by jon yudis — Thursday February 9, 2012 @ 7:46pm PST  
  • Makes me laugh. The comic industry is dying on its ass and bigshot producers are crawling all over it because they think it will help them get a movie made. The average age of a comic fan is 37. It’s a medium that attracts an aging fanbase. If you sell 10,000 to 20,000 copies of an independent comic, you’re doing very well indeed. Not a very profitable business. And hardly a platform to launch a movie that needs to appeal to millions – but it’s product. Execs can show it to their bosses, who can glance at the pretty pictures, but don’t have time to read scripts. Exec can rest easy because he or she is less likely to get fired for buying a comic, boss can rest easy because he or she is buying an underlying property that has a proven track record, and producers and creators can rest easy because they jumped the increasingly difficult hurdle and got a dev deal. The reality is that very few comic books outside a handful published by Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Image have ever been turned into movies. Getting an independent comic turned into a movie is like finding a talking dog – a rare and amazing event.

    Comment by Fan — Friday February 10, 2012 @ 12:10am PST  
    • Wow, you really know your shit, dude.

      Independent comics off the top of my head that have become films:

      Men in Black.
      I Am Legend
      Hancock (based on “Tonight, He Comes”)
      History of Violence
      Ghost World
      American Splendor
      Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
      Road to Perdition
      Cowboys Vs. Aliens (though we all know those guys ran a scam, but still – they pulled it off)
      Tank Girl
      Kick-Ass
      Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (I, II, and III)
      The Surrogates
      Red

      I will say this, though – you are right about the pathetic, aging fanbase. Comics are dead as a medium because they aren’t attracting new fans. The writers all think they’re Aaron Sorkin and try to write these multi-layered stories, but they forgot to have fun. They aren’t good enough writers for that anyway. These guys write in a medium that has more in common with “Days of our Lives” than “The Social Network”. Just write children’s soap operas and you’ll gain new fans, but they won’t do it. It’s a silly industry. A fat-dude-with-goatee-and-ponytail-clique of socially retarded assholes. Dealing with the companies you mention is a nightmare b/c they all think they’re big shit now. Cannot wait until this madness is over. Independent comics are better source material anyway and they always have been.

      Comment by Guy who gets it — Friday February 10, 2012 @ 10:31am PST  
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