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As Comic-Con International 2015 #SDCC kicks off in San Diego, Universal Cable Productions (UCP) has unveiled several new deals that will continue to fortify the studio’s growing genre library and cater to the high demand for television content inspired by science fiction, graphic novel and comic book stories. As part of its overall deal with Valhalla Entertainment, UCP today announced renowned graphic novel writer Warren Ellis (New York Times best-seller “Gun Machine”, and “Iron Man: Extremis” – the Marvel Comics graphic novel and basis for “Iron Man 3”), will adapt the popular 1970s Mexican comic book and Televisa format “El Pantera” as his first original TV series with Gale Anne Hurd set to executive produce and Televisa USA to co-produce. 


Based on the popular 1970s Mexican comic book and hit Spanish language TV series adapted by Televisa, “El Pantera” is a vigilante crime drama set in a fictional metropolis on the U.S. Mexico Border. When a young officer is appointed Head of Police, he only has one request: He asks that his friend, who was wrongfully imprisoned, be set free. Under the guise of his rumored death, the two create ‘El Pantera’ to rid the city of the Mexican mob. Warren Ellis is set to adapt the comic with Gale Anne Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment attached to produce and Televisa USA to co-produce with UCP. 


UCP is also developing the award-winning cult British film, “The Machine” into a scripted series for Syfy with the film’s Caradog James (“Little White Lies”) set to write the script and John Giwa-Amu (“The Silent Storm”) to produce. The story follows a brilliant computer programmer, desperate to save his terminally ill daughter, who creates the first-ever piece of self-aware artificial intelligence.  But things go terribly wrong when the technology, designed to help injured soldiers, is hijacked by the government and used to create the ultimate robotic weapon.  “The Machine” will follow multiple storylines as it takes a broad view of cutting edge scientific breakthroughs in genetic engineering, trans-humanism, and artificial intelligence.


Additionally, the studio has recently optioned the critically acclaimed comic series “Kill Shakespeare”, created by Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery, and released by IDW Publishing (“Orphan Black”, “Locke & Key”). This dark take on Shakespeare – which has also spawned a stage production and board game – pits his greatest heroes (Hamlet, Juliet, Othello, Falstaff) against his most menacing villains (Richard III, Lady Macbeth, Iago) in an epic adventure to find and kill – or save – a reclusive wizard named William Shakespeare. Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery are set to write.   


“These projects speak to UCP’s continued commitment to genre and aligning with the best talent in the business. Warren Ellis and Gale Anne Hurd are a genre dream team – ideal visionaries to adapt Mexico’s iconic comic ‘El Pantera’,” said Dawn Olmstead, Executive Vice President of Development, Universal Cable Productions.  “Comic-Con has been fertile ground for mining great content – it was there five years ago that I first heard about ‘Kill Shakespeare’ and have been chasing it since.  They had me at a love triangle between Romeo, Juliet and Hamlet. Set in a world where all of Shakespeare’s villains are seeking to find their creator and destroy him, is well, very Shakespearian.  ‘The Machine’ is a profound story that allows us to explore a poignant and unique relationship between science fiction and humanity.”


UCP also announced this week a first-look production deal with legendary comic book publisher, Dark Horse Entertainment (“The Mask”, “Hellboy”) focused on developing and producing scripted programming from their extensive comic book library as well as new material.  Initial discussions that began at last year’s Comic-Con have yielded multiple television projects with direct involvement from the comics creators – among them:  “Harrow County”, based on the comic written by Cullen Bunn (“The Damned”, “The Sixth Gun”) and illustrated by Tyler Crook (“Bad Blood”); “The Umbrella Academy” created by Gerard Way (lead singer of “My Chemical Romance”, and writer of “The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys”) and Gabriel Ba (Daytripper); and “Concrete”  from Eisner award-winning comics legend Paul Chadwick.

Other notable genre projects in UCP’s development pipeline include: for Syfy: “Channel Zero”, a horror anthology series from Nick Antosca (“Hannibal”, “Friday the 13th”) set to write the script, and Max Landis (“Chronicle”, “American Ultra”) set to produce. The first season will be based on “Candle Cove” by Kris Straub, a story that originates from the user-generated internet horror phenomenon known as creepypasta;  “Brave New World”, based on the classic novel by Aldous Huxley (“Ape and Essence”) published in 1932 with Les Bohem (“The Alamo”) set to write, and Amblin (“Jurassic World”) attached to produce;   “Hyperion”, based on the Hugo Award-winning science fiction novels that form “The Hyperion Cantos” by writer Dan Simmons (“Summer of the Night”) with Bradley Cooper (Executive producer and actor in “American Hustle” and “Silver Linings Playbook”), Graham Kin (“Space Truckers”), and Todd Phillips (The Hangover”, “Project X”) attached to executive produce and Itamar Moses to write the script and serve as co-executive producer.


UCP is also developing “Dreadstar”, based on the classic 1980s character from the Marvel-owned Epic Comics imprint by iconic Marvel comic book writer Jim Starlin (“Amazing Spider Man” and “Captain Marvel”) with Evan Daugherty (“Snow White and the Huntsman”, “Divergent”) attached to adapt, BenderSpink (“Horrible Bosses 3”, “Leap Year”) attached to produce, and Starlin and Ford Gilmore set to executive produce.  


At this year’s Comic-Con, events, panels and screenings featuring Universal Cable Productions TV series include:

Thursday, July 9

8:15PM – Room 6DE, San Diego Convention Center
Dominion on Syfy: EP Vaun Wilmott hosts an exclusive screening of the first two episodes of Season 2.


Friday, July 10

4:30PM – Room 6BCF, San Diego Convention Center
Colony – a co-production with Legendary Television coming to USA Network this fall.  Expected to appear: Carlton Cuse, Ryan Condal, Josh Holloway, Sarah Wayne Callies and Peter Jacobson.


6:00PM – Omnia Rooftop, San Diego

Universal Cable Productions Comic-Con Cocktail Reception (by invitation)


Saturday, July 11

11:00AM – Indigo Room at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel
Childhood End coming to Syfy in 2016: Based on the Arthur C. Clarke classic novel. Stars from the upcoming six-hour miniseries expected to appear: Julian McMahon, Daisy Betts, and Yael Stone, director Nick Hurran and screenwriter Matthew Graham.


12:00PM – Indigo Room at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel
12 Monkeys on Syfy: EPs Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett, and stars expected to appear: Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull, Kirk Acevedo, Barbara Sukowa, Emily Hampshire and Todd Stashwick.


12:00PM – Horton Grand Theatre, 444 4th Ave., San Diego

Colony Premiere Pilot Screening & Q&A


Sunday, July 11

11:00AM – Room 7AB, San Diego Convention Center

Spotlight on Lev Grossman: Author of The Magicians, adapted into a 2016 Syfy series from Universal Cable Productions. Expected to appear is Lev Grossman with moderators Sera Gamble and John McNamara, executive producers of the “The Magicians” TV series.

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Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery in a World Gone Prehistoric!



Hold onto your hats, dino fans! The highly anticipated sequel to the adrenaline-pumping Camp Cretaceous saga is here, and it’s taking us on a wild ride six years in the making. Following the harrowing events of Camp Cretaceous, our beloved “Nublar Six” are back, but they’re not out of the woods just yet. In fact, they’re about to plunge headfirst into a world where dinosaurs roam freely alongside dangerous humans, and trust us when we say, it’s a Jurassic jungle out there!

Picture this: a world where survival isn’t just about avoiding sharp-toothed predators but also navigating the treacherous waters of human greed and deceit. As our resilient heroes reunite in the aftermath of a heart-wrenching tragedy, they quickly realize that danger lurks around every corner, and trust is a luxury they can’t afford. 

But wait, there’s more! Prepare to embark on a globetrotting adventure like no other as the Nublar Six find themselves thrust into the heart of a conspiracy that threatens not only the fragile balance between dinosaurs and humanity but also their very existence. From the lush jungles of Isla Nublar to the bustling streets of bustling cities, buckle up for a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions as our intrepid group races against time to uncover the truth about one of their own and, ultimately, save both dinosaur and humankind from certain doom.

So, dear readers, if you thought you’d seen it all in Jurassic Park, think again! With heart-stopping action, pulse-pounding suspense, and jaw-dropping revelations, this latest installment promises to be a game-changer in the Jurassic universe. Get ready to roar with excitement because Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery is about to take a bite out of your imagination and leave you hungry for more!

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Netflix’s Upcoming Thriller ‘Trigger Warning’ Promises Action-Packed Intrigue”



Get ready to buckle up for an adrenaline-fueled ride as Netflix prepares to drop its latest original thriller, “Trigger Warning,” on June 21, 2024. Directed by Mouly Surya and boasting an all-star cast, including Jessica Alba, Mark Webber, Tone Bell, Jake Weary, Gabriel Basso, Anthony Michael Hall, Kaiwi Lyman, and Hari Dhillon, this film is set to keep viewers on the edge of their seats from start to finish.

The plot centers around Special Forces commando Parker, portrayed by the talented Jessica Alba. Parker’s life takes an unexpected turn when she receives the heartbreaking news of her father’s sudden passing, prompting her to return to her hometown. As she steps into her new role as the owner of the family bar, Parker quickly realizes that there’s more to her father’s death than meets the eye.

Reconnecting with figures from her past, including her former flame turned sheriff, Jesse (Mark Webber), and his volatile brother, Elvis (Jake Weary), Parker finds herself embroiled in a dangerous web of deceit and violence. With the influential Senator Swann (Anthony Michael Hall) casting a shadow over the town, Parker must navigate treacherous waters to uncover the truth about her father’s demise.

As tensions rise and alliances shift, Parker taps into her elite commando training, determined to unravel the mysteries plaguing Swann County. Assisted by her covert ops partner and hacker, Spider (Tone Bell), and the enigmatic local dealer, Mike (Gabriel Basso), Parker embarks on a perilous journey filled with twists and turns.

Penned by John Brancato & Josh Olson and Halley Gross, “Trigger Warning” promises to deliver a gripping narrative packed with action, suspense, and unexpected revelations. With a powerhouse cast bringing the characters to life and a talented creative team behind the scenes, this Netflix original is primed to captivate audiences worldwide.

Produced by Erica Lee, Basil Iwanyk, and Esther Hornstein, “Trigger Warning” offers a thrilling glimpse into the murky depths of small-town politics and criminal underworlds. With its pulse-pounding action sequences and compelling storyline, this film is sure to leave viewers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

Mark your calendars for June 21, 2024, as “Trigger Warning” arrives on Netflix, ready to ignite your senses and keep you guessing until the credits roll. Don’t miss out on this adrenaline-charged cinematic experience that promises to be the ultimate summer blockbuster.

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Unveiling the Epic Journey of Ayrton Senna: Netflix’s New Limited Series



Buckle up, racing enthusiasts, as Netflix gears up to premiere its highly anticipated limited series, “Senna,” in late 2024. Delving into the captivating life and career of Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna, this six-episode fictional saga promises to deliver an immersive experience like no other.

In a mesmerizing teaser video released today, viewers catch a glimpse of the adrenaline-fueled world of Formula 1 as they witness the recreation of Ayrton Senna’s historic victory at the 1991 Brazilian Grand Prix. Narrated by the iconic Galvão Bueno, the teaser provides a tantalizing peek into Senna’s triumph on the Interlagos circuit, a pivotal moment in his illustrious career.

Portrayed by the talented Gabriel Leone, Ayrton Senna takes center stage as the series chronicles his journey from the genesis of his motor racing career in England’s Formula Ford to his tragic accident at the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Italy. Through triumphs, disappointments, joys, and sorrows, viewers will be taken on an emotional rollercoaster, unveiling the true essence of one of the greatest sports heroes of all time.

But “Senna” is not just about racing; it’s about the man behind the helmet. The series delves deep into Senna’s personality and personal relationships, offering a nuanced portrayal of the enigmatic figure who captured the hearts of millions around the globe.

Behind the scenes, “Senna” boasts an impressive lineup of talent, with Vicente Amorim and Julia Rezende serving as showrunner and co-director, respectively. Produced by Gullane in collaboration with Senna Brands and the driver’s family, the series promises to stay true to the spirit of Ayrton Senna’s legacy.

Joining Gabriel Leone in bringing this epic tale to life are Alice Wegmann as Lilian Vasconcelos, Camila Márdila as Vivianne Senna, Christian Malheiros as Maurinho, and a stellar international cast including Kaya Scodelario, Arnaud Viard, Patrick Kennedy, and more.

From the exhilarating race tracks to the intimate moments behind closed doors, “Senna” offers a front-row seat to the captivating story of a racing icon. So rev up your engines and mark your calendars for the premiere of “Senna,” coming soon to Netflix. Get ready to experience the thrill, the drama, and the legacy of Ayrton Senna like never before.

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