There’s something in the air – or the cloud, at the very least. Hot on the heels of the news that Disney are pulling their content from Netflix in the first step to creating their own streaming service, and the groundbreaking announcement that Mark Millar‘s Millarworld have been sold to Netflix in their first major acquisition of a genre-led company, we hear today that Amazon Video continue their aggressive strides to place themselves right in the frame of genre television by closing a first-look deal with THE WALKING DEAD‘s Robert Kirkman to have his Skybound Entertainment company create ‘original genre content’ for its Prime Video service.
This is a big deal, and certainly excellent news for fans of books such as MANIFEST DESTINY, EXTREMITY, SUPER DINOSAUR and REDNECK as this could be the first step to seeing shows based on those properties making their way to the screen. (Not INVINCIBLE, though, of course – that still is being developed as a feature film by Universal as we speak – and AIR has already seen production in a film that didn’t exactly set the world alight, starring Norman Reedus and Djimon Hounsou.)
We could also see other creative talents that have produced books for Skybound come up with totally new ideas for the service, which has already had massive hits such as THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE and AMERICAN GODS, and threw a lot of attention on THE TICK at this years San Diego Comic-Con.
What will be the first property out of the gate? We shall just have to wait and see…
From the Amazon Video press release:
Aug. 11, 2017: “Amazon today announced it has closed an overall deal with prolific creator Robert Kirkman (THE WALKING DEAD, INVINCIBLE) and a first-look deal with Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment, co-founded by longtime collaborator David Alpert. Kirkman and Skybound — the entities behind television hits THE WALKING DEAD, FEAR THE WALKING DEAD and OUTCAST — will develop television projects to debut exclusively on Prime Video. This collaboration comes on the heels of Amazon Studios’ new expanded push into science fiction, fantasy and horror programming. Skybound Entertainment’s co-presidents of film and television, Bryan and Sean Furst, will oversee the Amazon project slate in conjunction with Kirkman and Alpert.
“Robert is a gifted storyteller who shares our passion for elevated genre storytelling that pushes boundaries,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Event Series, Amazon Studios. “Robert and the team at Skybound are some of the most innovative and fearless creatives in the business. Together, we plan to explore immersive worlds and bold ideas for Prime Video.”
“At Skybound Entertainment we strive to tell the best stories in the most unique and creative ways in an effort to always break new ground,” said Robert Kirkman. “A forward thinking company like Amazon is the perfect home for us. Their new foray into genre fiction has us at peak optimism for what can be accomplished during this unprecedented partnership. Sharon Tal Yguado has been an instrumental force in the success of Walking Dead and Outcast from day one. Being able to not only continue that relationship, but also expand it into new territory with the vast resources of Amazon, means great things are ahead for myself, David Alpert, Skybound and fans of awesome entertainment. Look out world, here we come!”
First and foremost a comic creator, Kirkman has seen groundbreaking success in the adaptation of his comic book titles into major franchises in all forms of content. In 2010, his Eisner award winning series, THE WALKING DEAD, was developed into an AMC television series. It has become a worldwide phenomenon as the highest-rated basic cable drama of all time and is the #1 show on television among the coveted 18-49 demo. The property has also been extended into a blockbuster game franchise, licensing business and ongoing publishing success. Kirkman also serves as consulting producer of THE TALKING DEAD, the popular talk show hosted by Chris Hardwick, that deep dives into each week’s episode of both THE WALKING DEAD and its companion series FEAR THE WALKING DEAD. Kirkman is co-creator, writer and producer of THE WALKING DEAD’s companion series, FEAR THE WALKING DEAD. He is also executive producer of the AMC series ROBERT KIRKMAN’S SECRET HISTORY OF COMICS, and the pre-apocalyptic drama, FIVE YEAR, that is being developed for multiple territories including Germany, India, Brazil, and Italy. Kirkman’s popular demonic-exorcism comic, OUTCAST, was adapted, produced and airs on Cinemax. For the big screen, Kirkman will produce INVINCIBLE based on his long-running popular comic book. The project will be written, directed and produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg for Universal Pictures. Other credits include AIR featuring Norman Reedus and Academy Award nominee, Djimon Hounsou. Additional Kirkman comics include SUPER DINOSAUR, BATTLE POPE, ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN, and THIEF OF THIEVES.
Skybound Entertainment, the multiplatform entertainment company led by Robert Kirkman and David Alpert, is responsible for such television hits including The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead and Outcast. Moving into the digital content space, Skybound produced the first-ever narrative VR series, GONE, for Samsung’s Milk VR platform and in 2017 will produce VR horror series Lies Within, which is the first project out of Skybound’s partnership with interactive theatrical company Delusion. The company currently has a number of different film projects in development including properties for their two-year first look deal with Universal. Skybound Entertainment recently announced its expansion with the opening of Skybound North, a Vancouver-based production division of the company. Skybound North is led by former LucasFilm Animation executive, Catherine Winder (The Angry Birds Movie, Star Wars: The Clone Wars). Comic book titles published by Skybound include: The Walking Dead, Invincible, Outcast, Birthright, Green Valley, Horizon, and Demonic. Skybound Entertainment’s interactive division works with partners including Telltale’s The Walking Dead, Free Range Games’ Labyrinth, Night School Studios’ Oxenfree, Pipeworks’ Superfight, and Overkill’s The Walking Dead. Skybound also creates a wide range of merchandise, including tabletop card games Superfight and Red Flags, apparel, board games, and action figures.
About Amazon Video
Amazon Video is a premium on-demand entertainment service that offers customers the greatest choice in what to watch and how to watch it. Amazon Video is the only service that provides all of the following:
- Prime Video: Thousands of movies and TV shows, including popular licensed content plus critically-acclaimed and award-winning Amazon Original Series and Movies from Amazon Studios like Transparent, The Man in the High Castle, Love & Friendship, and kids series Tumble Leaf, available for unlimited streaming as part of an Amazon Prime membership. Prime Video is also now available to customers in more than 200 countries and territories around the globe at www.primevideo.com.
- Amazon Channels: Over 100 video subscriptions to networks like HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, PBS KIDS, Acorn TV, and more, available to Amazon Prime members in the US as add-ons to their membership. To view the full list of available channels, visit www.amazon.com/channels.
- Rent or Own: Hundreds of thousands of titles, including new release movies and current TV shows available for on-demand rental or purchase for all Amazon customers.
- Instant Access: Customers can instantly watch anytime, anywhere through the Amazon Video app on compatible TVs, mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire tablets, or online. For a list of all compatible devices, visit www.amazon.com/howtostream.
- Premium Features: Top features like 4K Ultra HD, High Dynamic Range (HDR) and mobile downloads for offline viewing of select content.
In addition to Prime Video, the Prime membership includes unlimited fast free shipping options across all categories available on Amazon, more than two million songs and thousands of playlists and stations with Prime Music, secure photo storage with Prime Photos, unlimited reading with Prime Reading, unlimited access to a digital audiobook catalog with Audible Channels for Prime, a rotating selection of free digital games and in-game loot with Twitch Prime, early access to select Lightning Deals, exclusive access and discounts to select items, and more. To sign-up for Prime or to find out more, visit: www.amazon.com/prime.