Platinum, IDG, Relativity to finance, produce pics

Platinum Studios, IDG Films and Relativity Media are financing and producing two back-to-back features based on comicbook series “Witchblade.”

Lensing is set to begin late next year in China. No writer or director is yet attached.

Platinum is producing through its partnership with indie comicbook publisher Top Cow Prods., which holds the rights to “Witchblade.”

Comicbooks follow the story of a female detective who comes into possession of a mystical and powerful weapon that she uses to battle crime and evil. During its brief run as a TV show, “Witchblade” became the most successful original series in TNT’s history.

IDG Films, a division of technology media company Intl. Data Group, is putting up 50%-60% of the total production budget for the two feature pics, which is estimated at roughly $40 million. Arclight Films will handle foreign sales.

Producers are Relativity’s Ryan Kavanaugh and Lynwood Spinks, Platinum chair Scott Mitchell Rosenberg — who brought the “Men in Black” franchise to Sony — and IDG Films’ Steven Squillante and David Lee. Top Cow founder Mark Silvestri and Arclight’s Gary Hamilton and Harrison Kordestani exec produce. Co-producing are Top Cow’s Matt Hawkins and Platinum execs Jay Burns and Aaron Severson.

“We know that shooting a movie and its sequel back to back is rare, but ‘Witchblade’ is in good company,” said Rosenberg, referring to the “Lord of the Rings,” “Matrix” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchises.

Platinum and Top Cow have a number of comic-to-film projects set up at various studios, including Universal, Sony, Disney, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox.

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