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‘Witchblade’ sharpened for bigscreen

Trio team on live-action feature of comic

Platinum Studios, Top Cow Prods. and Arclight Films will team on a live-action feature adaptation of “Witchblade,” based on the Top Cow comicbook franchise.

The comicbook introduced the Witchblade mythology, which centers on an ornate jewel-encrusted gauntlet that gives extraordinary powers to the wearer, a specially chosen female from each generation.

Pic will be produced by Arclight’s Gary Hamilton and Nigel Odell, Platinum Studios’ Scott Mitchell Rosenberg and Steve Squillante of Havenwood Media. Top Cow’s Marc Silvestri and Matt Hawkins will be exec producers with Platinum Studios’ Rich Marincic and Greenberg Group’s Randy Greenberg.

The comicbook franchise has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide since debuting in 1995 and spawned a 2000 telepic that turned into a weekly series that ran for two seasons on TNT. “Witchblade” has been published in more than 21 languages and 55 countries, with merchandise widely sold. The most recent incarnation was an anime TV show in Japan by Gonzo Digimation in 2006.

“This property is the cornerstone of our upcoming production and sales slate,” said Arclight CEO Gary Hamilton. “We hope to be able to start production in September.”

The companies are already eyeing a location shoot in Australia.

Deal comes as Universal prepares a June 27 release on the Timur Bekmambetov-directed “Wanted,” which stars Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman. Pic is an adaptation of a Mark Millar-created comic that Top Cow published from 2003-05.

Platinum Studios is involved in screen transformations of several titles from its comics library, including “Atlantis Rising,” a DreamWorks drama being produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, and “Cowboys and Aliens,” another DreamWorks title that Kurtzman and Orci are producing with Imagine Entertainment. Platinum Studios has a Disney deal for “Unique” and is partnered with Hyde Park Entertainment on “Dead of Night,” based on the Italian comicbook series “Dylan Dog.”

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