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DreamWorks drawn to comic pair

Parkes, MacDonald to produce 'Damned'

DreamWorks has scooped up the film rights to the Oni Press comicbook series “The Damned” and “Courtney Crumrin,” for Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald to produce.

“Courtney Crumrin,” an ongoing series written and illustrated by Ted Naifeh, revolves around a misfit who moves with her social-climbing parents into her uncle’s spooky mansion. While her parents strive for status in their new, swanky neighborhood, the oddly charming girl finds magic in her uncle’s library.

Series consists of 12 comicbooks compiled into three graphic novels. A fourth novel, “Courtney Crumrin and the Fire-Thief’s Tale,” is set for publication on Aug. 15.

“The Damned,” a horror-noir series penned by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt, is a gangster thriller with a supernatural twist. When a pack of demons arrive in their city, two rival gangs must join forces to defeat their new common enemy. Comicbook series, which first hit the stands last fall, has been compiled into a five-part graphic novel that’s set to hit the stands Friday.

Eric Gitter at Closed on Mondays is also producing the projects via Closed on Mondays Entertainment, the film production arm of Oni Press, a leading independent comicbook and graphic novel publisher. Both projects will be touted at Comic-Con, which gets under way today in San Diego.

Lisa Gitter, Steven V. Scavelli and Joe Nozemack will co-produce the two projects for DreamWorks, while Peter Schwerin will exec produce. Alisa Tager brought in the projects to shingle Parkes/MacDonald, which is based at DreamWorks.

Parkes and MacDonald previously ventured into the comicbook world when bringing the “Men in Black” franchise to the bigscreen. Other producing credits include “Catch Me if You Can,” “The Ring,” “Road to Perdition” and “Gladiator.” They are currently in post on Marc Forster’s “The Kite Runner” and Tim Burton’s “Sweeney Todd,” starring Johnny Depp.

Oni Press, through Closed on Mondays, has several projects set up around town, including “Scott Pilgrim” and “Leading Man” at Universal. Independently, Oni is producing the bigscreen adaptation of “Seasons of Dust,” with Tim Blake Nelson set to direct.

Oni and Closed on Mondays are repped by UTA.

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