According to the Hollywood Reporter Universal Pictures has signed a two year first look film deal with Robert Kirkman's company, Skybound Entertainment. The company, which Kirkman founded in 2010, publishes comics under the banner of Image Comics but also does projects outside the company. The Universal deal includes Kirkman's long-time business partner David Alpert in the deal.
"In high school I watched Army of Darkness pretty much every night before bed, so I’ve seen that Universal logo steering around the planet we call home about a thousand times,” said Kirkman. “The idea of producing movies that will bear that logo is just unbelievably awesome. We couldn’t find better partners than the team at Universal. I believe this partnership is going to help David and I achieve all the goals we set out to accomplish when we founded Skybound five years ago.”
THR speculates on the idea of a The Walking Dead film being possible under this deal, although it quickly denies any reports from its sources on that front. This deal would apply to Kirkman, Alpert and Skybound only for feature films. Skybound's first film, Air, is set for release this August.
On the TV side, Kirkman and Skybound aren't locked into a first-look deal with any other company. Skybound is already quite busy, with The Walking Dead and the upcoming Fear The Walking Dead at AMC, Outcast currently filming for Cinemax, and two series, Thief of Thieves and Clone, in development at AMC and Syfy, respectively.
“Robert and David have proven themselves to be incredible storytellers in a wide range of mediums, and we are thrilled to be Skybound’s partner in the feature realm," said Universal co-presidents of production Peter Cramer and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum in the THR article. "We feel confident that their wealth of ideas and expertise will lead to exciting, provocative films for our slate."