First Acquisition: Mark Hamill’s Directorial Debut
the Improvisational Film, “Comic Book: The Movie”
May 22, 2003 – Miramax Films is proud to announce a first look production and distribution deal with Creative Light Entertainment, a vertically integrated production company, in the areas of film, television and home entertainment. The announcement was made today by Kevin Kasha, Executive Vice President, Miramax and Scott Zakarin, CEO, Creative Light Entertainment.
“We’re excited about being in business with the team at Creative Light because of their great track record of creating highly successful fan-based productions,” said Kasha. “Our first project together, Comic Book: The Movie, promises to be an exciting undertaking with widespread appeal to audiences young and old – from comic book fans to action-hero fans to loyal followers of Mark Hamill,” Kasha added.
“We knew we were taking a chance making a largely unscripted movie, but we had faith in the talented team we had assembled. Thankfully, there are studios as bold as Miramax who can share our vision,” said Zakarin.
Miramax’s first acquisition from Creative Light Entertainment is a semi-fictional documentary, Comic Book: The Movie, which is slated for a fall release. This improv film follows the antics of the world’s biggest comic fan, Donald Swan (Hamill), who has just been hired to direct a documentary about his favorite comic book heroes of all time, “Commander Courage & Liberty Ladd.” Armed with the studio’s marketing guru (Roger Rose), a perpetually wasted cameraman (Jess Harnell) and the grandson of “Commander Courage’s” deceased creator (Billy West), Donald heads to the world’s largest comic book convention, San Diego Comic Con, where he’s on a mission to save his beloved “Commander Courage” from the clutches of Hollywood and the big bad movie studio.
This humorous journey into the world of comic book fandom is directed by and stars Mark Hamill (Star Wars) along with his crew of wild characters, played by award winning voice over artists including Billy West (Futurama), Jess Harnell (Animanics) Roger Rose (Rugrats in Paris: The Movie), Daran Norris (Fairly Odd Parents), Lori Alan (Spongebob Squarepants) and Tom Kenny (voice of Spongebob Squarepants). The films also stars Donna D’Errico (Baywatch) and features notable appearances from pop and pulp culture icons including Sid Caesar (Your Show of Shows) Stan Lee (Spider-man), Kevin Smith (Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back), Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead), Hugh Hefner, Debby Derryberry (Jimmy Neutron), Bill Mumy (Lost in Space), Matt Groening (The Simpsons), Chase Masterson (Deep Space 9 Creature Unknown), Gary Owens (Laugh-in) and many more. Marking the first time Caesar and Winters have appeared together since It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World in 1962, Comic Book: The Movie was filmed live on location, at the renowned San Diego Comic-Con in 2002.
“Comic Book: The Movie was a great adventure where we had passion, and a certain framework of what we wanted to achieve. Even though we couldn’t totally guarantee what was going to happen at every twist and turn, I’m thrilled by the final results!” says, first time director and star, Mark Hamill.
“Making this movie was taking part in the ultimate role play game. We took a documentary look at the phenomenon of comic books being adapted into blockbuster films and blended it with our crew of satirical players!” says Zakarin.
Comic Book: The Movie is produced by Scott Zakarin, Eric Mittleman, Mark Hamill, Roger Rose, Billy West and Jess Harnell for Creative Light Entertainment and Amazing Invisible Ink. The film is executive produced by Rich Tackenberg and Peter Jaysen.
Creative Light Entertainment’s other upcoming projects include Creature Unknown, a coming of age horror film featuring Chase Masterson (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), which is releasing later this year. Coming Out Party is a groundbreaking stand-up comedy film featuring gay and lesbian comedians as they share funny and poignant stories about “coming out” for the first time, which begins production in June, and Reality eXtreme! is a satirical film about reality dating shows which begins shooting on location later this Summer.
Creative Light Entertainment is a vertically integrated production and distribution company, which has successfully positioned itself as a creative force in the production of high quality genre films. Recent releases include William Shatner’s Spplat Attack, a sci-fi scenario paintball game and Stan Lee’s Mutants, Monsters & Marvels, a one-on-one documentary with filmmaker Kevin Smith. This project follows up Creative Light Entertainment’s recent successful release of Mind Meld: Secrets Behind the Voyage of a Lifetime starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy and Showtime’s critically acclaimed television documentary Hail Sid Caesar! The Golden Age of Comedy.
Miramax Films, founded by Bob and Harvey Weinstein in 1979, has released some of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful independent feature films of the past decade, including fourteen Best Picture nominations over a span of eleven consecutive years: Chicago, Gangs of New York, The Hours, In the Bedroom, Chocolat, The Cider House Rules, Shakespeare In Love, Life Is Beautiful (La Vita É Bella), Good Will Hunting, The English Patient, Il Postino (The Postman), Pulp Fiction, The Piano and The Crying Game.