Amber brings 'Stronghold' to screen

Amber Entertainment is teaming with British comicbook house 2000 AD and its Rebellion Publishing arm to bring medieval zombie tale “Stronghold” to life as a feature film.

Amber Entertainment’s Ileen Maisel will produce. Rebellion’s Jason Kingsley will make his directorial debut, and Rebellion’s Chris Kingsley exec produces.

Tom Fickling is adapting the novel for the screen. The original “Stronghold” was penned by Paul Finch for the publisher’s Abaddon imprint.

“Stronghold” centers on Welsh rebels utilizing druidic magic to summon an undead army to aid them in their quest to overthrow English tyranny. Hero of the story is a young knight who defies his masters to rescue the daughter of his enemy while battling legions of revenge-driven dead.

“Stronghold” is being eyed as the starting point of a partnership between Amber and 2000 AD — best known for its “Judge Dredd” stories, which served as the basis for the 1995 feature starring Sylvester Stallone and an upcoming DNA Films pic starring Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby.

Jason Kingsley, who’s been directing videogames for two decades, told Daily Variety that the inclusion of zombies in a medieval setting will give the feature a fresh look and feel. He’s hoping to go into production next year.

“We think that the zombies are great fun. I’ve known Ileen for many years, and we think this project is a great way to get into business with Amber,” he said.

The Kingsley siblings purchased 2000 AD in the year 2000. Founded in 1977, it’s published a weekly anthology of five stories and has employed a number of notable artists and writers such as Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Bryan Talbot, Brian Bolland and Mike McMahon.

Amber was created last year by New Line veterans Maisel, Mark Ordesky and Jane Fleming, along with documentary and TV producer Lawrence Elman. It’s currently in production on “Tiger Eyes,” based on the Judy Blume novel, and “The Possession,” directed by Eduardo Sanchez and co-produced by “Blair Witch Project” creators Haxan Films.

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