Screen Gems taps ‘Tekken’

$50 mil fall project brightens Crystal Sky

Steven Paul’s Crystal Sky has teamed with Sony’s Screen Gems on pic adaptation of the vidgame “Tekken,” with plans to put the film into production in late fall with a budget of $50 million.

Project is one of two that Crystal Sky picked up in turnaround at Dimension Films. The shingle also regained control of the Marvel Comics title “Werewolf By Night,” which Paul will produce with Marvel topper Avi Arad.

Sony will distribute “Tekken” in North America, Latin America and Australia. Crystal Sky and Gaga originally set up “Tekken” with Dimension during last year’s Cannes Film Festival.

“Tekken” is based on the videogame licensed from manufacturer Namco. Storyline centers on two childhood friends who enter a worldwide martial arts tournament. As they progress, the pals move toward uncovering a secret that lies within the mysterious Tekken Corp.

Longtime Tekken player Charles Stone (“Mr. 3000”) will direct. He’s rewriting a script by Michael Colleary and Mike Werb (“Face/Off”).

Paul will produce “Tekken” with Crystal Sky prexy Benedict Carver, who joined the company earlier this month from his post as senior VP at Screen Gems. Executive producers are Gaga CEO Tetsu Fujimura and Namco chairman Masaya Nakamura.

Columbia TriStar’s Gary Hirsch made the deal with Crystal Sky finance prexy Joe Inga.

Paul and Carver first worked together on “Ghost Rider,” which Carver first brought into Sony as an international rights deal.

“Tekken” also reteams Paul with Sony, which is wrapping production on “Ghost Rider” starring Nicolas Cage. Paul is a producer on that pic, another property that he originally set up at Dimension.

Crystal Sky and Namco first made a deal to develop the “Tekken” property four years ago, hiring Colleary and Werb to write the script.

Crystal Sky has not determined how it will handle foreign rights on “Tekken.” While Gaga will distribute in Japan, it’s possible that Crystal Sky will team with a studio partner.

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