Shingle snaps up novels at Comic-Con

Vanguard Films has gained screen rights to “Circus Galacticus” and “The Oz Wars,” two graphic novels that Vanguard topper John H. Williams acquired at Comic-Con.

“Circus Galacticus” is a futuristic story that revolves around a fantastical circus with mythic creatures, fantasy aerialists and heroic guerrilla fighters. They navigate the dark realm ruled by despotic tyrants who’ve taken control of Earth and have designated the circus as the only permissible form of entertainment. The graphic novel is the work of screenwriter-author Michael Walker.

“The Oz Wars” is an action film set in the Emerald City, where a fierce war is waged by the Witches in their evil citadel against the resistance fighters led by the beleaguered Wizard. The storyline was penned by an established screenwriter who’s using the pseudonym “Dorothy Gale.”

Both films will be produced by Vanguard’s Williams, who found both in galley form at Comic-Con and bought them as works in progress.

“Both have huge spectacle, a clearly defined sci-fi genre PG-13 audience, and powerful themes of liberation and independence,” Williams said. “They’ll make great graphic novels and have film franchise potential as well.”

Vanguard’s Rob Moreland will be involved in a producing capacity on both projects.

Williams ramps up the live-action part of his business as Vanguard Animation goes into production with “Space Chimps 3D,” a sequel to Vanguard’s 2008 film. The sequel will go straight to DVD in the U.S. through Fox and be released theatrically overseas. Vanguard Animation is also ramping up its next animated feature with “Alien Band: The Battle of the Bands Just Got Ugly.”

Scripted by Allan Piper and Chris Pearson (“The Enthusiasts”), “Alien Band” is a comedy about a garage band from a backwater planet that enters an intergalactic Battle of the Bands contest. Former Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart is putting together established rock bands that will provide the tunes for the bands in competition. Stewart will be executive producer and music producer, and Williams is finalizing the film’s financing.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more