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YouTube Stars Get the Hollywood Treatment

'Bob Thunder: Internet Assassin' slated for digital release in January 2015

YouTube star Shane Dawson is one of the featured cast members in “Bob Thunder: Internet Assassin,” a feature-length digital movie lampooning YouTube multichannel networks being co-produced by Relativity Digital Studios and video site FilmOn.

“Bob Thunder: Internet Assassin” began production June 8 and is slated for a January 2015 digital release. YouTube creator Joe Nation is directing the film, which is based on his character Bob Thunder in the series “YouTube Assassin.”

The film stars Dawson, who has about 6 million YouTube subscribers, along with a cadre of others, including Prank vs. Prank, Joey Graceffa, Swoozie, Chester See, Olga Kay, Michael Gallagher, Steve Greene, Jacksfilms and Evelina Barry. Janice Dickinson and Rampage Jackson will make cameos.

“Bob Thunder: Internet Assassin” is being funded by FilmOn Prods., owned by Alki David — the eccentric entrepreneur who has tried to launch an Aereo-like Internet TV service to stream broadcast networks online. David and Relativity’s Kendall Rhodes serve as producers.

The movie is set in the world of YouTube MCNs, where stars are systematically assassinated one by one and replaced by brand-friendly robotic clones engineered by the evil “Mr. Network.”

The project comes after “Camp Takota,” another film starring YouTube creators including Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart, was released this year for purchase through VHX and iTunes.

“We are excited to work on ‘Bob Thunder’ with Alki David’s FilmOn,” said Roger Mincheff, president of Relativity Digital Studios. The project “disrupts the traditional film model for packaging and producing films for digital platforms which we hope to continue to replicate with today’s storytellers.”

The live-action comedy is the second project from Relativity’s digital studio, with web series “Interns” slated to launch in September.

Dawson, in addition to maintaining his YouTube channels, is developing “Losin’ It,” a comedy based on his life being produced by Sony Pictures Television for NBC. He also is making a movie, “Not Cool,” commissioned by Starz for its upcoming docuseries “The Chair.” For the Starz series, Dawson and another filmmaker, Anna Martemucci, were given the same script — and viewers will vote for the winner, who will receive the $250,000 prize. Dawson is repped by UTA.

Alki David, in a statement, said, “I am particularly proud to have partnered with Relativity on this one because they have a great spirit of independence that fully resonates with what we do at FilmOn… It’s totally everything that it promises to be: funny, current and cool.”

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