Dark Horse Ent. has signed a three-year production and distribution agreement with Universal Pictures, establishing a studio home for the comic-book company’s various properties. The deal builds on a relationship begun with the sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army, which Universal will release on July 11.
Under the terms of the deal, Universal will have creative access to all Dark Horse characters and properties. Meanwhile, Dark Horse will have the opportunity to independently develop and produce projects for distribution through Universal.
‘We’ve worked with many studios and have had several great experiences, but we are particularly happy to be joining forces with Universal Pictures in this deal,’ says Dark Horse founder and president Mike Richardson. ‘We feel a real connection with their vision and the energy and creativity they bring to developing our properties.’
Directed by Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth), the Hellboy film franchise is based on the Dark Horse Comics series by Mike Mignola. The first film was released by Revolution Studios, and a pair of animated DVD features were produced and distributed by Starz Media. Dark Horse’s other comic properties include The Mask, Timecop and SpyBoy, as well as series based on the popular franchises Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan the Barbarian, Trigun and Serenity. The company was founded in 1986 and is now the third largest comic-book publisher in the U.S. behind DC Comics and Marvel Comics.