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DeSanto visiting ‘City of Heroes’

Role-playing game set to be film, maybe TV show

After tackling giant robots, “Transformers” producer Tom DeSanto is turning his attention to superheroes, securing the rights to NCsoft and Cryptic Studio’s vidgame “City of Heroes.”

Plan is to adapt the massively multiplayer online role-playing game into a live-action feature and then transition it to television in some form.

Project revolves around a group of superheroes who live in Paragon City and must team in order to fight an invasion of aliens known as the Rikti.

In the game, players design their own superhero character and pay a monthly fee of $14.99 to battle supervillains, aliens, madmen and other criminals. An expansion of the game also enables players to create their own villainous character.

“City of Heroes” first bowed at retailers in 2004 and turned into a franchise, spawning sequel “City of Villains” and a comicbook series published by Top Cow Prods.

NCsoft also produces the games “Lineage,” “Auto Assault” and “Guild Wars.”

DeSanto sparked to the project because it offered “one-stop shopping” for characters and plots. “You also haven’t seen a big superheroes vs. aliens movie,” he said. “I see this as the next big superhero franchise.”

DeSanto produced “Transformers,” with Don Murphy and Lorenzo di Bonaventura, setting up the project at DreamWorks after securing the rights from toymaker Hasbro. He also exec produced the first two “X-Men” films at Fox.

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