Lloyd Levin partners with Stranger Comics on venture

Veteran producer Lloyd Levin, aiming to generate properties that can be turned into movies, is launching Foundry Comics in partnership with Stranger Comics.

Foundry will publish four to six graphic novels per year in a variety of genres ranging from gothic historical adventures to futuristic action pieces to raucous comedies.

Levin — whose credits include “Watchmen,” “Hellboy” and “The Rocketeer” — and Stranger Comics CEO Sebastian A. Jones made the announcement.

“We’re publishing comicbooks with the intention of making them into feature films,” Levin told Variety. “In most cases the screenplays are being written at the same time (developed independent of the studios) as the comicbooks are being created. We’ll eventually bring aboard a director, then budget and schedule, prepare conceptual art, perhaps raise financing, then bring the whole package to the studios for further financing and distribution.”

Foundry is developing “Offworld” by David Johnson, writer of “Orphan” and “Wrath of the Titans,” as a graphic adaptation of Johnson’s original screenplay about an intergalactic safari. Levin is also in pre-production on a feature version of “Offworld” with Lawrence Gordon; Julian Gilbey (“A Lonely Place to Die”) is set to direct.

The idea for Foundry Comics grew out of Levin and Sebastian’s collaboration on a feature adaptation of “The Untamed,” Stranger Comics’ first published title, created by Jones and artist Peter Bergting. Other projects currently in production at Foundry Comics include:

•”Quincey Morris” by Steven Katz (“Shadow of the Vampire”) in the story of the little-remembered fictional American cowboy who kills Dracula in Bram Stoker’s novel

•”Escape Velocity” by Andrew Cosby (creator of Eureka and co-founder of BOOM! Studios) — a man vs. machine story set in space

•”Ruining Christmas” by Sebastian A. Jones and Darrell May — a holiday tale about two hard-partying elves who neglect their duties to disastrous effect and embark on an epic journey to set things right.

“There’s something magical about making a story come to life, whether it’s on the silver screen or on the printed page,” said Levin. “In many ways my lifelong love of comicbooks has fueled much of my career in films, so I’m grateful and excited for the opportunity to be directly involved in the creation of comicbooks. I get a rush every time a new page comes back from the artist.”

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