Point made by Roberts

Helmer, vidgame creator launches shingle

CANNES — “Wing Commander” director and videogame creator Chris Roberts has launched production shingle Point of No Return, based in Los Angeles.

Production, development and overhead funding in the neighborhood of $50 million will be provided by Roberts, thanks to his success as a game developer. Equity from investors in the high-tech industry also contributed to the company’s backing.

PNR aims to produce 12 films over a five-year period as well as TV series and interactive projects. Michael Abbott will serve as director of development, while former Largo Entertainment president Joseph Cohen serves as an adviser to the company.

Topping the PNR feature slate:

  • The $5 million “Die Laughing,” an action-adventure romance penned by Timothy Tori (Revolution Studios’ “Switcheroo”). Now in pre-production, pic will be helmed by commercial and musicvideo director Frank Sacramento. Abbott will produce with Roberts, with video and commercial company Oil Factory prexy Billy Poveda serving as exec producer.

  • Sci-fi pic “Earthfall,” which is set on a Mars colony in 2812 and budgeted at $40 million-$60 million. Thriller was written by Cardon Walker and Roberts, who also will produce.

  • “Wick Wax & Fire,” the story of a young exec who seeks solace but ultimately finds disaster after initiating a steamy affair. Written by Duke Selley, “Wick” is budgeted at $7 million-$10 million.

  • “The Package,” penned by Larry Wilson (“The Addams Family”) and Roberts. Roberts will produce the $7 million-$10 million feature. It’s New Year’s Eve on Austin’s infamous Sixth Street, and the U. of Texas’ most irresponsible student is responsible for delivering before midnight a package that contains the fate of the world.

Roberts acquired experience in co-production agreements with “Wing Commander,” which utilized multiple financing avenues ranging from private placements to European government partnerships.

Roberts was the founder of Origin Systems, which he sold to Electronic Arts, as well as Digital Anvil, which he sold to equity partner Microsoft. Digital Anvil most recently handled f/x work for Dimension Films’ “Spy Kids.”