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GAMING

American Gods,” the hit Amazon Prime Video fantasy series adapted from Neil Gaiman’s 2001 namesake novel, will be transformed by Skyrocket Entertainment into new gaming content and products and migrated into the worldwide online gambling sector through its newly launched Skyrocket Studios division. Working in collaboration with games studio Bang Bang Games, known for games like “Deal Or No Deal,” “Dumb and Dumber” and “Austin Powers,” “American Gods” will become an online gambling slot game, themed around the battle between Old Gods and New Gods.

Initially adapted by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green for Starz, “American Gods” is produced by Fremantle and distributed by Lionsgate Television.

The deal was struck between Fremantle’s VP commercial and licensing, Angela Hueber and Skyrocket CEO, Sean O’Kelly. Production for the game has commenced and is due to be delivered later this year.

Skyrocket Entertainment specializes in turning iconic Hollywood feature films and branded intellectual property rights into content for real and social money gaming. The company has acquired the international rights to 75 feature films including “Rambo,” “The Expendables” and “The Fallen” franchise.

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Sineád O’Connor ShinAwiL/Bebbak

DOCUMENTARY

Irish content production businesses ShinAwiL and Bebbak have teamed to produce ‘Sineád’ (working title), a feature documentary celebrating the musical work of iconic, Grammy winning singer/songwriter Sineád O’Connor.

ShinAwiL’s Los Angeles-based executive producer Chuck La Bella has engaged U.S. producer Orian Williams (“Control”) as executive producer alongside ShinAwiL CEO Larry Bass and radio DJ, Bebbak’s Dave Fanning. Irish filmmaker Maurice Sweeney (“I, Dolours”) will direct.

Through her life and career O’Connor’s music captured world attention and she courted musical acclaim and controversy in equal measure.

Bass said: “There will only ever be one documentary with Sineád involved that tells the story of her work in her own words. This is it. Seldom do we get an opportunity for an artist to take us in to the story behind their greatest work”.

Global sales will be handled by Jonathan Ford and Abacus Media Rights.

DEVELOPMENT

Cyber Group Studios, a producer and distributor of animated series best known for its preschool show “Gigantosaurus” is partnering with Grilled Cheese Media (“Major Marlo Meets The Monster From Mars”), a producer of family-focused properties, to develop “Yum-Yum,” an animated comedy-adventure series for preschoolers. Actor, director and comedian Dave Coulier (“Full House”) and animator and executive producer Bob Harper (“The Powerpuff Girls Rule!!!”) are co-creators and executive producers of the series.

“Yum-Yum” is envisioned as a family comedy for young viewers about a fun-loving crew of islanders who have slapstick adventures as they travel the world in search of the yummiest foods.

FORMAT

Hit global cookery format “MasterChef” is returning to New Zealand after a six-year hiatus. Screentime New Zealand, a Banijay company, and Discovery have struck a deal with the support of Banijay Rights for the launch of “MasterChef NZ” on Discovery’s Three channel in 2022.

Created by Franc Roddam, “MasterChef” is the world’s most successful cookery television format, produced across 64 markets and has broadcast more than 10,000 episodes.

ACQUISITION

Singapore-based media and entertainment-related investments company, Vistas Media Capital has acquired a majority stake in Indian animation and design company Paperboat Design Studios, best known internationally for its work on Gitanjali Rao‘s Venice title “Bombay Rose.” The financial value of the deal was not disclosed. The studio, with more than 250 full time employees across offices in Mumbai and Hyderabad, is run by acclaimed animator Soumitra Ranade.

Paperboat is currently working on animation projects “Bhrigu and the Palace of Mirrors,” based on Ranade’s novel of the same name and “Kabuliwala,” based on the classic short story by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

The deal follows boxing biopic “Pep,” by Golden Ratio Films, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vistas, and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions.

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“Bombay Rose” Courtesy of Cinestaan Film Company