Pantomimus Media has announced a trio of new deals for its multimedia YA fantasy brand The Red Harlequin: a TV development partnership with Canadian content company Omnifilm Entertainment; an audiobook publishing agreement with media development firm Dreamscape Media; and a graphic novel publishing deal with Broken Icon Comics.
A new development agreement with Omnifilm will work towards creating a high-end action adventure fantasy series. Based in Vancouver, Omnifilm Entertainment is the production power behind The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco, a spin-off of the hit ITV period mystery series airing on Britbox, ITV, Citytv, and Netflix; Disney XD’s Mech-X4 ; the Disney Channel series Gabby Duran & The Unsittables and Fast Layne; and Disney Channel’s Original Movie, Kim Possible. Scriptwriter and showrunner Robert Butler, recent BAFTA winner for Creeped Out, and Rick Porras (co-producer of The Lord of the Rings) are attached to the project.
Brian Hamilton, Principal and Executive Producer, Omnifilm, commented: “Audiences are hungry for stories which connect epic fantasy and escapism with the issues of today. The Red Harlequin book series was made for television and has serious international potential. Omnifilm is honoured to be working with such a talented team.’
Next, Media development company Dreamscape Media has acquired the worldwide English audiobook rights to the original five The Red Harlequin novels. Dreamscape Media offers distribution, marketing, and production services for audiobooks, eBooks, film, and documentaries, providing content both physically and digitally to customers, partners, and platforms around the world.
Releasing in May 2020, all five books will be available everywhere audiobooks are sold including Amazon, Audible, Recorded Books, iTunes, Google, Overdrive, and dozens of other digital audiobook resellers. The Red Harlequin audiobook collection will be also available on hoopla digital to over 5 million registered library patrons, Midwest Tape’s mobile and online service for public libraries. The YA Fantasy novels will join hoopla digital’s collection of more than 750,000 eBooks, audiobooks, albums, movies and television shows. The titles will also be available in the retail marketplace in MP3 CD and CD formats.
Catherine Zappa, Executive Director of Content & Strategy, Dreamscape Media, commented, “Dreamscape is thrilled to be bringing to life for audiobook listeners the adventures of The Red Harlequin. Ricci’s dynamic and epic storytelling of the mysterious Harlequins are precisely what we search for in creating an exhilarating audio experience that will have listeners wanting more.”
And finally, in graphic novel news, Broken Icon Comics one of the fastest growing independent comic companies in the industry, have acquired US print rights. The first two volumes will make up BIC’s tentpole summer releases with media blitzes leading up to their launch at San Diego Comic Con, the largest comic convention in the world. The books will be available for bookstores to order through BIC’s partner printer and the wholesale book registry, and to comic stores through their direct distribution channels.
“The Red Harlequin Volume I sets up a world riven with war, and the political and religious elites that control the fates of all men and women. Fast paced and driven by the struggles of society, identity, and what it takes to survive, The Red Harlequin is a tale so powerful, one cannot help but be drawn into the world from the very first page. A perfect blend of fantasy world-building, religion and magic, political intrigue, and character driven stories, The Red Harlequin is a must read for anyone who loves unique and dramatic graphic novels,” said Nick Wentland, Creative Coordinator, Broken Icon Comics
“The Red Harlequin presents an incredible opportunity for Broken Icon Comics to help bring these amazing graphic novels to the North American audience. Premiering at San Diego Comic Con, this graphic novel will be the pinnacle of our summer releases, and pave the way for building an entirely new audience hungry for poignant, relevant, and exciting stories such as this one. We are extremely excited to be one small part of the greater success the franchise is enjoying as a whole,” said Eric Watkins, Co-Founder, Broken Icon Comics
Roberto Ricci, Creator and Director, Pantomimus Media, commented: “I am very excited to partner with companies that not only excel in their field, but also share our creative vision for developing The Red Harlequin as a global entertainment property. With its established track record, Omnifilm is perfectly positioned to forge a solid TV platform for the series. And Dreamscape is on the cutting edge of audio/video storytelling which – together with Broken Icon’s comic readers – opens up new avenues to reach new fans: a truly multiplatform approach.”
The announcement comes as three new foreign language editions of The Red Harlequin books were launched by Foliant Publishing in Russian, Kazakh and Turkish. The books are also published in English by Pantomimus Media.