SPLICE Director Vincenzo Natali Digs Potential New Franchise TUNNELS

     February 18, 2010

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Relativity Media has announced that Vincenzo Natali will direct an adaptation of the internationally best-selling book series Tunnels.  Natali, who has received major buzz after the success of his film Splice (Steve loved it) at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, will adapt the first installment of the book series from a script by Simon Sandquist and Joel Bergvall.  Written by first-time authors Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams,

Tunnels tells the story of Will, a 14-year-old boy driven by a fascination of the buried past, who is drawn into a subterranean world after his archaeologist father abruptly goes missing. This hidden civilization, beautiful and unforgiving, is dominated by a sinister, vicious race called the Styx, who have presided over generations of enslaved colonists.”

As long as he’s not a “chosen one” pulled out of his crappy life, I can get on board.  The sequel, Deeper, has already been published with the third installment, Freefall, set to debut this spring.  Hit the jump for the full press release.

tunnels_book_cover_01.jpgRELATIVITY MEDIA ANNOUNCES VINCENZO NATALI AS DIRECTOR OF “TUNNELS,” BASED ON THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER.

LOS ANGELES, CA, February 18, 2010 — Relativity Media, LLC (“RML”), announced today that the “Tunnels” feature film will be directed by Vincenzo Natali (“Cube”). Natali’s recent film, “Splice,” premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

“Tunnels” will be the film adaptation of the first installment of the New York Times best-selling children’s series by first-time authors Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams. The book was originally optioned by RML in 2007. The project is being produced by Ryan Kavanaugh, Mark Canton, Danny Davids and Neil Canton. Simon Sandquist and Joel Bergvall scripted the screenplay.

The novel was published by Barry Cunningham of Chicken House/Scholastic Inc., who signed “Harry Potter” creator J.K. Rowling. Achieving sales of more than a million copies and published in more than forty countries worldwide, the authors have already completed two sequels to the series – Deeper, published in  ’08, and the third installment, Freefall to be published in the USA in Spring 2010.

“Tunnels” tells the story of Will, a 14-year-old boy driven by a fascination of the buried past, who is drawn into a subterranean world after his archaeologist father abruptly goes missing. This hidden civilization, beautiful and unforgiving, is dominated by a sinister, vicious race called the Styx, who have presided over generations of enslaved colonists.

“This first installment of the ‘Tunnels’ franchise will open up a whole new universe of excitement and adventure to audiences throughout the world,” said Mark Canton. “It represents the next level in family entertainment, combining a science-based reality reminiscent of the classic fiction of Verne and Wells, but in a completely contemporary setting, with today’s immersive cinematic technology to create a believable, yet unforgettable movie-going experience.”

Canton is represented by Jake Bloom and Ralph Brescia of Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal and LaViolett.

Gordon and Williams are represented by Chicken House Entertainment with Stephen Moore at the Kohner Agency.

Natali is represented by CAA.

ABOUT RELATIVITY MEDIA

Relativity Media, LLC (“RML”) is a media and entertainment company which focuses on creating, financing, and distributing first class studio quality entertainment content and intellectual property across multiple platforms. RML creates strategic partnerships with and opportunistic investments in media and entertainment related companies and assets. RML owns and operates Rogue, a company that specializes in the production and distribution of lower-budget genre films, which has had success within the horror genre including The Unborn and The Strangers. Building upon its foundation of financing and producing films, RML has grown to include music, sports and television divisions, as well as the Rogue lifestyle brand, including the next-generation social network iamrogue.com. Relativity also owns and operates RelativityREAL, Relativity’s television arm, which has become one of the leading suppliers of reality television with over 20 shows in episodic or pilot. RelativityREAL is run by Tom Forman. Tom’s past successes include Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Kid Nation.

To date, Relativity has committed to, produced and/or financed more than 200 studio-quality motion pictures through 2014. Released films have accumulated more than $12 billion in worldwide box office revenue. Relativity’s recent films include: Dear John, Brothers, It’s Complicated, Public Enemies, 9, Zombieland, The Ugly Truth and Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Upcoming films for Relativity include: MacGruber, Robin Hood, The Bounty Hunter, The Fighter and Sanctum. Twenty-nine of the company’s films have opened at #1 at the box office. Relativity films have earned 43 Oscar® nominations, including nods for: A Serious Man, Nine, Frost/Nixon, Atonement, American Gangster and 3:10 To Yuma. Forty-three of RML’s films have each generated over $100 million in worldwide box office receipts.

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