STX Entertainment has teamed up with Tencent Pictures and Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin and Peter Kiernan’s Free Association production company to co-produce a live-action film adaptation of “Zombie Brother” digital comic book.
The project is based on the top title on Tencent’s digital comics and animation platform. Since 2011, the digital comic book has garnered more than 17 billion views on over 348 episodes, and its animated series has attracted more than 3.7 billion views across its first two seasons. The franchise has also been adapted into a mobile game and stage play. Free Association joined Tencent on the project in March 2017.
Tencent Pictures is part of Chinese investment giant Tencent Holdings. It has been an investor in Robert Simonds’ STX, along with TPG Growth, Hony Capital; PCCW; Liberty Global; and individual investors including Gigi Pritzker, Beau Wrigley, and Dominic Ng.
“Since its inception, STX Entertainment has been committed to producing, marketing and distributing universally resonant content across all platforms, with a particular focus on bridging the U.S. and Chinese markets,” said Adam Fogelson, chairman of STXfilms. “As an early investor in STX, Tencent has been a strong strategic partner and we’re honored to be collaborators in bringing its most valuable IP to new audiences around the world. With Tencent Pictures’ awesome ecosystem of entertainment channels and Free Association’s creative acumen, we think there is no end to the storytelling opportunities of this franchise.”
STX Films will distribute the film in North America, while Tencent Pictures will distribute in China. Tatum, Carolin, Kiernan and Michael Parets will produce for Free Association, and Edward Cheng, Howard Chen, and Conor Zorn will produce for Tencent Pictures. Fogelson and head of production Sam Brown will oversee the film for the studio.
Free Association has produced the “Magic Mike” and “22 Jump Street” franchises, along with “Logan Lucky” and the Amazon series “Comrade Detective.” The company is currently producing Magic Mike Live Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel, as well as several other film and television projects.
“We are thrilled to be joining forces with STX Entertainment on one of Tencent Animation and Comics’ excellent properties, ‘Zombie Brother,'” Cheng, VP and CEO of Tenecent, said. “It has been an incredible pleasure to explore new possibilities with STX. Teamed alongside our gifted producers at Free Association, we look forward to bringing ‘Zombie Brother’ as a uniquely fun and fresh film for the enjoyment of audiences everywhere.”
Free Association is repped by UTA, Management 360 and Hansen, Jacobson & Teller.