EXCLUSIVE: Alcon Television Group has stepped up with a preemptive bid to snap up the rights to the Battle Chasers fantasy comic book series from prolific comic book artist Joe Madureira, which will be developed as a live-action TV series with John Wick creator Derek Kolstad attached to write and executive produce. The pact comes on the heels of the recent announcement that the popular comic series will return with a 10th installment after a 20-year hiatus.
Set in an arcane punk world, Battle Chasers follows a ragtag group of heroes: a disgraced, heartbroken swordsman, a cynical thief, a cranky wizard, a war machine with a kind heart, and a young girl whose missing father left her a pair of powerful magic gloves well beyond her capabilities. They must come together, despite their many, many differences, to stop a dark force rising in the land.
“As a storyteller–as well as a super fan of unapologetic and unrelenting action–I can’t wait for people to feel as giddy as I did when I first laid eyes on Battle Chasers, said Kolstad. “The world which Joe has created here, coupled with the characters therein, is both unique and yet familiar. Adapting this for the small screen is gonna’ be a jon.”
Alcon Entertainment’s Co-Founders and Co-CEOs, Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove will serve as executive producers, alongside Ben Roberts of Alcon Television Group, who brought the project to the company.
“I connected deeply to this material 20 years ago when I first picked up the Joe’s comic book and so to be part of bringing this exciting material to a new audience is thrilling to say the least,” said Roberts.
Adrian Askarieh, producer of the multi-million-dollar Hitman franchise of Prime Universe and Loni Peristere (Warrior, American Horror Story), Chris Jones and Samantha Shear of Zoic Studios are also attached to executive produce. Ben Cook will produce.
“Being part of the team that finally brings Joe’s Battle Chasers to the screen has been a 20-year dream of mine,” said Askarieh. “I am thrilled that Joe has entrusted Derek, Zoic, myself, and now our partner, Alcon, with this rare and exciting opportunity.”
Peristere also said that Battle Chasers was a dream project when he co-founded Zoic Pictures nearly two decades ago.
“Great material from Joe, fantastic partners in Derek, Adrien and Alcon, all while leveraging the latest tool sets from our Real Time Group to the end of making great stories,” he said. “That, plus simply being a fanboy, I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Launched in 1998, Battle Chasers was one of the initial three comic book series published under the Cliffhanger label, which Madureira founded with fellow artists J. Scott Campbell and Humberto Ramos for Jim Lee’s Image Comics imprint, WildStorm. Issues 5 through 8 of Battle Chasers were published by DC after the company acquired Wildstorm in 1999. After Madureira left the publisher, he released Battle Chasers #9 through Image Comics and subsequently put the series on hold. He teased the release of Issue #10 by posting preview pages on Twitter in March 2021.
In addition to the successful comic book series, the Battle Chasers IP also includes a video game titled Battle Chasers Nightwar which has sold over a million copies to date. Battle Chasers Nightwar was developed by Airship Syndicate, which is co-owned by Madureira.
“As a huge fan of John Wick, you can imagine my excitement when Adrian and Derek reached out about turning Battle Chasers into a show,” Madureira said. “It’s not something I ever thought could happen, and I’m blown away to have this opportunity with so many talented folks, including Alcon and Zoic, behind it. Everyone involved seems to genuinely love the series, so I know it’s going to be great.”
Kolstad burst onto the scene by writing an original spec screenplay, entitled Scorn, which was later re-titled John Wick. The film has now spawned the most profitable franchise in Lionsgate’s history, spanning movies, with Kolstad also penning John Wick 2 and John Wick, an upcoming TV series spinoff on Starz and multiple video games. Recent projects for Kolstad include an original action franchise entitled Nobody for Universal starring Bob Odenkirk, which hit theaters earlier this year, and the Marvel series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier for Disney+, which Kolstad co-executive produced. He is also currently adapting Ubisoft’s game Splinter Cell for Netflix as well as the Hellsing manga for Amazon for their feature side.
Alcon Television Group’s praised space drama series The Expanse, is headed into its sixth and final season on Amazon Prime Video. The company also has the animated children’s series Pete the Cat, a co-production with Amazon Studios based on the best-selling children’s book series currently available on the streaming service; and Blade Runner – Black Lotus, an upcoming anime series developed in partnership with Adult Swim and Crunchyroll inspired by Alcon’s Oscar-winning feature Blade Runner 2049.
Led by Askarieh, Prime Universe Films’ first feature film was based on themulti-million selling video game Hitman at 20th Century, which went on to gross $100 million worldwide on a production budget of $26 million. The sequel Hitman: Agent 47 followed. Hitman: The Series is currently in development with Fox21, with Askarieh serving as producer.
Zoic is an Emmy-winning visual effects company. Additionally, two of Zoic’s founders bring directorial experience to the project. Peristere has directed multiple episodes of Warrior for HBO Max, A Series of Unfortunate Events for Netflix and Castle Rock for Hulu and FX’s American Horror Story.
Kolstad is repped by APA, Circle of Confusion and Behr Abramson Levy. Madureira is repped by CAA.n Askarieh is repped by Peter Grossman. Zoic is repped by Hillary Bibicoff.
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