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Fox sends for ‘A-Team’

Cannell, Top Cow to make skein into big screen fare

Fox 2000 has hired “The A-Team.” Stephen J. Cannell’s smash small-screen skein has been snatched up from turnaround at Universal Pictures by Top Cow Prods.

Top Cow, the third-largest comic book concern behind DC Comics and Marvel Comics, is aiming to develop and update the TV series for a 2001 feature film. Deal is valued at low-six against low-seven figures, according to an insider.

Cannell, who until recently had been busy reinventing himself as a novelist (having penned tomes like “The Devil’s Workshop,” “The Plan” and “King Con”), will produce with Top Cow Prods. prexy Spike Seldin. Mark Silvestri, CEO of Top Cow, will handle exec producer chores.

Project was brought into the company by Top Cow development head Chris Carlisle, and was brought into the studio by Fox 2000 creative exec Saskia Young.

‘Witch’ way

Top Cow is best known for crossing over serialized graphic novels like “Witchblade,” a successful comic book skein it most recently turned into a TNT pilot. Company has also developed titles like “Darkness,” a tale about an antihero hitman set up at Columbia Pictures; and “Fathom,” an actioner centering on a female marine biologist with special powers set up at Fox Animation studios.

Top Cow’s Seldin maintains “The A-Team” will be a live action feature, to be totally “reimagined, with a contemporary feel” that will likely have substantially younger characters than its forerunner.

Original skein, which ran on the Peacock web from 1983 through 1987, concerned itself with four elite Army commandos who, having robbed the Bank of Hanoi in Vietnam under a covert operation from the American government, were set up as patsies for the political fallout. Escaping from military prison, the four roamed America on the lam, handling covert operations for cash.

Brand strategy

“We want to take the incredible brand awareness of ‘The A-Team,’ ” said Carlisle, “and turn it into a year 2000 action-comedy.”

Both Top Cow and Cannell were repped in the deal by the Writers & Artists Agency.

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