The name Jeff Katz might not jump out at you from the get-go but I can assure you guys, you’re more than acquainted with his work. Over the past few years Katz has been instrumental in shepherding along installments of several high profile franchises such as Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street and most recently X-Men Origins: Wolverine for other studios. Now he’s setting out to create his very own genre label.
Variety reports today that Katz’ new company, American Original, will launch in two divisions — American Original Press will be publishing around ten comics per year with the endgame goal of adapting them as films, TV shows, Web series or games, and American Original Entertainment will serve as the production arm.
This budding new company is also sporting one hell of an industry pedigree in terms of staff right out of the gate:
Ben Austin, a former New Line, Fine Line and Fox staffer, will be director of development. Katz will own and produce all titles under the American Original label, with Top Cow’s Matt Hawkins and Marc Silvestri exec producing select books. The company’s advisory board includes director Richard Donner, producer Ralph Winter and former New Line distribution chief David Tuckerman.
“The genre audience has been derisively labeled with a variety of names — ‘fanboys,’ ‘geeks’ and the like,” Katz tells Variety. “While the bad news is that we are only a niche, the good news is that the future of entertainment is a future built on niches. This audience is expanding and is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the new entertainment model.”
Amen, Jeff. A-fuckin-men! Between this and Peter Block’s A Bigger Boat, genre fans could be in for one hell of a treat in the near future. We’ll keep our ears to the ground for more.
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