Rebellion, which owns the Judge Dredd and 2000 AD franchises, has set its first in-house projects that will use the company’s new studio space near Oxford, England. Post-apocalyptic thriller “School’s Out Forever” will be first out of the gate, shooting there and on location, followed by several projects based on Rebellion’s comic book and publishing shared worlds, including a new Judge Dredd project and Duncan Jones’ Rogue Trooper project.
“School’s Out Forever” is based on a book in Rebellion’s Afterblight Chronicles, a shared world that features contributions from various authors and hails from Rebellion’s Abaddon Books imprint. The first installment of a trilogy from Scott K. Andrews, “School’s Out Forever” follows a 15-year-old who flees to his school as a safe haven after an apocalyptic event wipes out most of the world’s population.
“It’s a great hook – what happens if the world is ending and your only option is to go back to school,” Ben Smith, Rebellion’s head of film, TV and publishing, told Variety. “The film is the first part of our wider move into physical production and a significant first building block.”
The film adaptation is in pre-production and will shoot this summer. It comes from writer-producer-director duo Emma Biggins, a production manager on films including “Slaughterhouse Rulez,” and Oliver Milburn, who was behind the 2016 short “Dunroamin.”
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The film is expected to have a budget just north of £1 million ($1.25 million). The Dredd and Rogue Trooper projects will come with a larger price tag, but Rebellion is setting out to make a range of film and TV series. It owns a wealth of IP after buying “2000 AD” and, two years ago, the Fleetway and IPC Youth Group archives.
The company is well-known in the video games world, notably for its “Sniper Elite” series. It will fully fund “School’s Out Forever,” which will be ready at the end of the year. “The idea is we’ll make it and then take it to market and look for the right distributors and platforms for it to go out on, and to get as wide a release as we can for it,” Smith said. “This is the first in a slate of shared world [film and TV] projects we’re going to make ourselves.”
Other Abaddon shared worlds include zombie series “Tomes of the Dead,” which featured contributions from authors such New York Times bestselling author Chuck Wendig, and steampunk series “Pax Britannia.”