'Illegal Aliens' acquired for feature development

Platinum Studios and Vanguard Animation have formed Vanguard Comics, an imprint designed to develop properties that can simultaneously be launched as comicbooks or graphic novels as well as feature films.

Platinum Studios CEO-chairman Scott Mitchell Rosenberg and Vanguard Animation chairman John H. Williams, producer of the “Shrek” series, are launching the imprint.

They’ve already acquired a first property, “Illegal Aliens,” about a skeptical tabloid reporter sent to a Texas border town to investigate cattle mutilations. The reporter uncovers stories of the chupacabra monster.

The comic was created by freelance illustrator Kevin MacDougall.

“Illegal Aliens” was among the 50 finalists of Comic Book Challenge. After Rosenberg asked Williams to be a judge, the Vantage Comics principals got the idea to join forces. Both were surprised to find a comic in the contest that fit their multiplatform hopes.

“When Scott asked me to be part of the Comic Book Challenge, I thought it would be a great way to hear story concepts,” said Williams, whose Vanguard Animation is partly owned by Starz Media. “Scott and I both immediately agreed that ‘Illegal Aliens’ was a full throttle horror thriller” that had franchise potential.

Vanguard is developing the Walter Salles-directed “On the Road” with Zoetrope Studios and “The Twits,” with Universal and Working Title. It produced Fox’s upcoming animated film “Space Chimps.”

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