January 19, 2008 – Studio 407 proudly announces a comic book deal with THIRTEEN GHOSTS writer Neal Marshall Stevens. Studio 407 teams up with Stevens on two series, the futuristic action thriller “Havoc Brigade”, which will be in stores on March 25, 2009 and the horror adventure “Demon Squad” which will be out later this year.
The comic book deal is an expansion of the relationship Stevens and Studio 407 developed while working together on the just completed motion picture HUNTER (aka HYBRID) that was co-produced by Studio 407 and Stallion Pictures (T3 and PUNISHER:WAR ZONE). The film penned by Stevens, was directed by French horror director Eric Vallete (MALEFIQUE, ONE MISSED CALL) and is on track for a 2009 release date. Studio 407 is also producing a feature based on their comic book Hybrid with Myriad Pictures, and recently partnered with them again to develop a film based on their NIGHT PROJECTIONIST graphic novel.
Stevens says â€œIâ€™ve been working as a professional screenwriter for a long time. Only around one in ten of the projects that go into development end up on the screen. That means, for most writers, including me, most of the projects that Iâ€™ve worked on down through the years â€“ and that includes some very good work — have never seen the light of day and most likely never will.â€ Continues Stevens â€œOne of the reasons that I was excited at the prospect of moving into graphic novels was because I knew going in that the scripts that I wrote would actually be produced, and that the work would get in front of an audience.â€
Neal Marshall Stevens graduated Film School at New York University where he received his MFA. In 1998 he optioned his spec script, THE SLOW MAN, from Ocean Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox. The following year Neal optioned horror script, DEADER, to Dimension Pictures which was ultimately produced as HELLRAISER:DEADER, a sequel to HELLRAISER. In the years that followed, Neal divided his time writing for almost every Hollywood major studio, including the remake of THIRTEEN GHOSTS for Joel Silverâ€™s Dark Castle Entertainment at Warner Brothers. He is currently writing the latest Amityville sequel, the AMYTIVILLE TAPES for MGM.
Says Studio 407 managing director Alex Leung: â€œWe had a great experience working with Neal on the HUNTER film. Since comics is a big part of what we do and knowing Neal was bursting at the seams with some more great stories, it only made sense to do a comic book deal with him as well. I think a lot of great writers in the studio system see the creative freedom that the comic industry provides, and theyâ€™re taking advantage of that opportunity.â€
â€œHavoc Brigadeâ€ is described as: In the near future, armed with Havoc-class battlesuits made of an indestructible material, the Havoc Brigade brings peace to a war-ravaged Europe, ending a decades-long conflict. But the Brigadeâ€™s team leader, Major Jackson, goes rogue when he learns that the government is shutting down the program. Stealing the Armyâ€™s ultimate weapon, he succeeds in killing all his men and destroying all the other battlesuits except one.Â Now itâ€™s up to the only surviving member of the Havoc Brigade to bring the renegade Major to justice, but does Sergeant Barnes have what takes to go toe-to-toe with his former commander and mentor, and stop him before itâ€™s too late?
â€œHavoc Brigadeâ€ is illustrated by Jon Bosco who has worked on a number of books including DCâ€™s â€œNightwing,â€ and â€œHeroes for Hire,â€ Acclaimâ€™s â€œTurok,â€ and the Image comic â€œNoble Causes.â€ The second book in the deal will be â€œDemon Squad,â€ which tells the story of a team of scientists, mystics, and mercenaries who band together to hunt down demons that prey on teenagers. Described as an action/horror film in the vein of SCREAM and THE EXORCIST, it continues the Studio 407 mandate of producing high-end, horror comics.
Adds Leung: â€œIâ€™ve read a lot of the great scripts Neal has written, and seen them stranded in the 9th circle of development hell, so Iâ€™m very excited to be part of his â€œcoming outâ€ party in the comics industry. He is incredibly deft with genre (having written almost every kind for the studios), and he has a no holds barred approach to writing that I think will make him a force to be reckoned with in this medium.â€