Having produced the big-budget features I, Robot and Catch Me if You Can, Hand Picked Films principles Anthony Romano and Michel Shane have teamed with financier/producer Steven Gagnon’s Gravity Ent. and Jeff Gomez of animation producer Starlight Runner Ent. to adapt Dawn Barnes childrens book series, The Black Belt Club.
Published by Scholastic, The Black Belt Club: Seven Wheels of Power is the first of what is intended to be a twelve-book series. The kid lit/graphic novel hybrid featuring illustrations by acclaimed artist Bernard Chang has sold more than 120,000 copies in just three months.
The companies involved in this latest license plan to exploit the property across a number of media platforms, including animated television, direct-to-video movies, video games and feature films. Hand Picked will co-produce the series with Gravity Pictures, the production arm of Gravity Ent.
Gomez and Starlight Runner are working closely with Barnes to layout the mythology of the book series for screen adaptation. Previous Starlight Runner productions include, Mattels Hot Wheels World Race and Hot Wheels Highway 35 animated features.
In The Black Belt Club: Seven Wheels of Power, young hero Max and his fellow karate students pull from her studies in martial arts and Native American
Mysticism as they battle evil through teamwork. More information on the book can be found at www.theblackbeltclub.com.