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Hypnotic enters ‘Darkness’

Gaming franchise eyes expansion

HOLLYWOOD — Production company Hypnotic has bought exclusive feature and TV rights to Nintendo’s 2002 vidgame creepfest “Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem.” Hypnotic will spearhead development, financing, production and distribution.

Agreement marks a continuation of the relationship between the two companies regarding the “Eternal Darkness” property. Last summer, Hypnotic oversaw a contest for Nintendo in which short films were submitted illustrating the themes of sanity and loss of control that are crucial to the game. Hypnotic chair Liz Hamburg also has a longtime relationship with the game-making giant.

Reaching out, up

“We are thrilled to once again work with Nintendo to extend this brand and its powerful story to the masses,” said CEO Dave Bartis. “We are eager to get the project started and to leverage our relationships in both the entertainment and marketing worlds to propel ‘Eternal Darkness’ to another entertainment platform.”

Game, which debuted a year ago, was developed by Silicon Knights for Nintendo. Story revolves around an awakened ancient race and a dozen humans chosen to decide the destiny of their species. Each character must face their worst fears in defeating the evil race.

Deal was forged by Hamburg and producer Steven Hein for Hypnotic, and by Gail Tilden, VP of brand management, for Nintendo of America.

Among other projects, Hypnotic runs the Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival each year, giving the winner a deal through Universal’s Focus Features division to direct a feature with a $1 million budget. Last year’s winner, Jeff Wadlow, is readying his project to begin shooting this summer. Among the competitors in last year’s Chrysler fest was the winner of the “Eternal Darkness” contest.