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TORTURED SOULS ON SCREEN
Action Figure Property Moves Closer to Cinema

It's no secret that Todd McFarlane and Clive Barker's initial collaboration - which yielded 2001's incredibly popular Tortured Souls series of action figures - came with an eye (or two) toward the big screen.

    That scenario moved several steps closer to reality when Universal Pictures optioned Tortured Souls in late 2001. It was part of a three-picture deal with Universal and plans call for a co-venture between Todd McFarlane Entertainment and Seraphim Films. Clive and Todd are attached as producers, with TME president Terry Fitzgerald and Seraphim's Joe Daley as co-producers. Clive is currently writing a script treatment.

    The film itself will be based on the Tortured Souls novella, which Clive wrote in serial-style specifically to be included with the action figures that spawned the concept. Tentative plans call for the film to hit theaters in late 2002 or 2003.

    This is the first deal to come out of Todd's signing with International Creative Management. ICM is one of the world's largest talent agencies. In addition to Todd and Clive, their clients include Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Hurley, Eddie Murphy, Kiefer Sutherland, Jodie Foster, Julia Roberts and many others.

    Clive, who is well-known to horror fans for Hellraiser, and Todd first collaborated to design the Tortured Souls line in 2000. From the beginning, both creators envisioned this project as a possible movie-in-the-making. "From the first time we met, I knew that we were both kids in grown men's bodies, and that can be trouble -- in a good sense," said McFarlane. "The strength of Clive and his studio and the strength of me and my studio, it's an amalgamation, a hybrid of a bunch of good creative people working together."

    In other TS news, fans will be stoked to note McFarlane Toys has slated Tortured Souls 2: The Fallen action figures for release in 2002.

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