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Electronic Arts, Starz ready ‘Dante’

Duo set second animated feature

Electronic Arts and Starz Media are readying their second animated feature, “Dante’s Inferno,” based on the videogame bowing next year.

Film Roman, a subsid of Starz, will produce the pic, as it did with “Dead Space: Downfall,” which was distribbed by Starz in the fall and was tied to the release of EA’s high-profile sci-fi horror vidgame “Dead Space.”

Toon is the latest example of EA looking to create spinoffs of its future games as other forms of entertainment, including movies and TV properties.

“Inferno” will mirror the game’s plot and follow Dante’s journey through the nine circles of Hell — limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud and treachery — in search of his true love, Beatrice.

Both are based on part one of Dante’s classic poem”The Divine Comedy,” better known as “Dante’s Inferno.”

Separate anime studios are being commissioned to create the nine circles of Hell.

Film Roman’s Joe Goyette (“Dead Space: Downfall”) is the producer on the project, which Victor Cook (“The Spectacular Spider-Man,” “Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron”) is directing and Brandon Auman (“Iron Man: Armored Adventures”) is writing.

Game bows on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 next year. It’s being developed at EA Redwood Shores.

“The animated feature will be a great companion piece to the game,” said Jonathan Knight, executive producer and creative director for “Dante’s Inferno.” “The feature will explore aspects of the poem that the game does not, and will provide more insight into the characters and the unique story adaptation that the game has established.”

Starz Media is pushing the “Dante’s Inferno” toon and “Dead Space: Downfall” at the MIP-TV market this week in Cannes.

Anchor Bay Entertainment will distrib on homevid. Starz Media’s Worldwide Distribution group will handle international television and domestic syndication sales, while Starz Digital Media is overseeing digital distribution.

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