TORONTO - Daniel D'or, Philip Jackson and Paul Rapovski of SpaceWorks Entertainment Inc. here are pleased to announce that they have signed Michael Ironside, star of the Splinter Cell series of video games, to star in a new video game based on their television series, Ice Planet.
SpaceWorks are co-producing the television series Ice Planet, with UK's, Highgate Films' Steve Matthews, John Paul Chapple, John Sivers (Urban Gothic).
SpaceWorks/Highgate will also be co-producing the video game in tandem with the production of the television series. Within the individual episodes of the series, clues and specific game information will be included to enhance player resources with the video game.
The combined Ice Planet video game and TV series is budgeted at approximately $40,000,000 (CDN). Game player relevant information can be found throughout each of the 22 episodes of the series' first season - the first of five.
With a quirky nod to the action and fantasy of Star Wars, the moral code and finely drawn characters of the Star Trek franchise, the suspense of Alien, and the mystery of X-Files, Ice Planet will focus on an ensemble cast of fully-developed, unique, heroic characters.
The Ice Planet game is a character-driven sci-fi action and fantasy game on an epic scale," said Executive Producer Daniel D'or. "We have fantastic partners, cast and resources to make it something very exciting and very special."
"It's time for something really new in science fiction, and how games, television and other platforms interact," said Producer Philip Jackson. "This is something refreshing, energized and a perfect launch pad for a new look and feel in the genre."
Canadian actor Michael Ironside will star as Captain Jonus Trager. In the gaming world, he is also well known for his work as the voice of Sam Fisher in Tom Clancy's highly successful video game Splinter Cell and its sequel Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow and a third Splinter Cell game Chaos Theory.
On the big screen, Ironside's credits include 120 films including The Perfect Storm, Total Recall, Starship Troopers and Scanners.
"We couldn't be more pleased to be the exclusive distributors of this exciting new series," said Kevin Byles, vice president and general manager, CHUM Television International. "With such a strong production team and the talent of Michael Ironside, Ice Planet is sure to be one of the next great names in science fiction television. The series is a perfect fit to CTI's catalogue of unique and highly-targeted programming."
Based on an original concept for both game and TV series by Hendrik Hey, Ice Planet follows Captain Jonas Trager and his crew from the spacecraft Magellan who, after embarking on a secret mission, crash on a mysterious planet of ice following a devastating apocalyptic attack on Earth by a highly advanced alien species called the Skorp.
The marooned crew must learn to survive in the frozen landscape, which is home to strange inhabitants and ancient alien conflicts. Gradually they become aware of the role they have been chosen to play in a conflict with far greater consequences than they could ever imagine. Or, as Ice Planet creator Hendrik Hey notes "Our heroes are thrown into a mythical and a fantastical journey of multiple universes and the unknown. To survive, they must evolve."
Since the notion of survival being related to character evolution is one of the core components of the game philosophy, this aspect will be incorporated into the game.
Hey had produced a feature length film of the same title several years ago. When Executive Producer Daniel D'or saw the film he believed that the concepts for a great TV formula lay at the core of its story.
"When I learned that the rights had become available I called Hendrik and we discussed the creative possibilities," Said D'or "We reached a very exciting, complementary view of what could be done and from there we acquired the underlying rights and got to work on the financing."
The producers are intending that the Ice Planet video game will be competitive with up to 22 different levels of play, each level having a contextual relationship to the series. The producers will use the same characters from the series in the game, including the lead protagonist Captain Trager, played by Michael Ironside. The game will have between 20 and 40 hours of game play.
The Ice Planet TV series will be shot, post-produced and delivered in HDTV. The series will comprise five seasons of 22 episodes each (22 x 60') with production on Season One beginning in September, 2005. Ice Planet is slated to air in Canada on CHUM Television's SPACE: The Imagination Station in 2006.
Thinkway Toys, an innovative award-winning, international toy design and merchandizing manufacturer, specializing in new technology applications (Toy Story, Neo Pets, Batman and Star Wars) has signed a master toy license agreement with SpaceWorks and its partners including financial commitments to advertising.
Ice Planet will be a fully cross-branded product," notes Jackson, "with a five-season arc in the TV series, a content cross-reference video game, and substantial merchandizing commitment before one frame has been shot, in our view confirms that this is a product with an explosive future."