WB picks up rights to Massey's comicbook

Warner Bros. has picked up the rights to Oni Press’ comicbook series “Maintenance,” for McG’s Wonderland Sound & Vision to produce and for the helmer to possibly direct.

Joe Ballarini is adapting the project, which follows the exploits of two janitors who work at Terrormax Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer and supplier of weapons and doomsday devices to supervillains. As comicbook’s conceit goes, if they’re not too busy cleaning up toxic spills and performing menial repairs on time machines, they just might save the world.

“Some of the films that made me want to become a director like ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ are based on action, comedy and ground-breaking special effects,” McG said. “It is my goal to make ‘Maintenance’ in the same tradition.”

Comicbook series was created by Jim Massey and illustrated by Robbi Rodriguez.

Eric Gitter, who runs Oni’s entertainment arm, Closed On Monday, will produce along with McG’s shingle, Wonderland, which recently inked a three-year first look deal with WB.

Steven V. Scavelli will executive produce. Peter Schwerin, Joe Nozemack and James Lucas Jones will serve as co-producers.

Jeanne Allgood and Andy Shapiro are overseeing the project for Wonderland.

Ballarini scripted “Witch Hunters,” set up at New Regency that Kopelson Entertainment will produce. He also wrote “The Legendary McClouds” at Paramount, and MGM’s “F+.”

WB will release “Whiteout,” based on another Oni graphic novel, sometime next year. Gitter is producing “Scott Pilgrim,” with Marc Platt, and “Leading Man,” both of which are set up at Universal. Oni also sold the rights to “Courtney Crumin” and “The Damned” to Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald at DreamWorks.

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