'Nail,' 'Bigfoot,' 'Salem' projects line up for prod'n

A correction was made to this article on Dec. 11, 2003.

HOLLYWOOD — Rocker Rob Zombie and author-cartoonist Steve Niles have created Creep Entertainment Intl., a horror-themed production company.

Banner will begin with three comicbook projects that, down the road, are expected to be adapted for films: “The Nail” with Dark Horse Comics; “Bigfoot” with IDW Comics; and “Lords of Salem,” a combo music-comics project.

All tales were co-written by Zombie and Niles. The books will be illustrated by some established comic talents.

“Comics have become the storyboards for movies,” Zombie told Daily Variety. “All our comicbooks are stand-alones and are done in a movie way. We’re actually working backwards — these look like comic adaptations of films.”

Zombie made his film debut writing and directing “House of 1000 Corpses” for Lions Gate Films, and he is in pre-production on the sequel, which he will again write and direct for Lions Gate. Zombie’s first comicbook venture, “Spookshow International,” quickly sold out after its release in October.

Dimension, which has optioned Niles’ “Wake the Dead,” recently picked up the film rights to “Hyde,” Niles’ comicbook adaptation of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Rights to his vampire epic “30 Days of Night” were acquired by Columbia Pictures; Sam Raimi will produce. MGM is bringing his film noir/horror character Cal McDonald, who appears in three books, to the bigscreen.

Niles and Zombie were introduced to each other through a mutual friend. After sharing ideas for comicbooks, they realized how similar their concepts were. Both, for example, wanted to do Bigfoot projects.

“We’ll be pooling ideas, and the things that come out through Creep will be different from anything I do on my own,” Niles said. “Creep is a way to differentiate projects, and hopefully it will become a reliable (brand).”

Niles has already started to write “Nail,” which is peopled with 1970s-style satanic bikers and wrestlers. “Lords of Salem” is based on a satanic band.

“In the story (the band) is everything you fear it is — real evil, causing suicides. But nothing is lamer than reading about a band but having no idea what they sound like,” Zombie noted. “We’ll create a band, and that way there will be a record that exists.”

Zombie is represented by the Firm. Niles is repped by CAA.

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