December bow for 'Turistas'

Newly launched Fox Atomic has cemented its slate for 2006-07 and has secured release dates for three of its first pics.

The youth division’s first release will be “Turistas” on Dec. 1, followed by “The Hills Have Eyes 2” on March 2 of next year. On May 11, Fox Atomic will unspool “28 Weeks Later.”

Other films in production at the division are “Revenge of the Nerds,” a re-imagining of the 1984 cult comedy, and “The Comebacks,” a sports comedy.

In related news, Fox Atomic has inked a partnership with HarperCollins to publish and distribute graphic novels under the Fox Atomic Comics banner. Up to four graphic novels are planned for release in 2007. Some titles will be tied to Fox Atomic theatrical releases, others will be based on original content.

Creative direction on the graphic novels will be handled by Fox Atomic Comics. HarperCollins will handle publishing rights.

Fox Atomic is also pushing ahead with branding and marketing efforts via its newly launched Web site, which offers users original and user-generated content as well as entertainment from other Fox brands.

Fox Atomic was formed late last year as a way of launching teen-skewed pics that are backed by a targeted marketing force. Led by prexy Peter Rice and chief operating officer John Hegeman, the division is focusing not just on creating original theatrical releases, but digital content that targets the 17- to 24-year-old demographic across all media platforms.

Directed by John Stockwell (“Blue Crush”), “Turistas” stars Josh Duhamel and Melissa George (“The Amityville Horror”) as young adventure travelers who, after a bus accident, are marooned in a remote Brazilian beach town.

The sequel to the 2006 horror remake, “The Hills Have Eyes 2” is written by Wes Craven and Jonathan Craven and directed by Martin Weisz. Pic follows a group of young National Guard trainees who are attacked by mutants during a training mission in the New Mexico desert.

“28 Weeks Later,” the sequel to “28 Days Later,” is directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and picks up six months after the Rage virus has decimated London.

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