In the most Hollywood-sounding comics press release of all time, sometime in early 2018, LINE Webtoon will host a webcomic titled Caster, based on an original concept by Noble Transmission (“a comic book entertainment company for the digital age with a focus on mobile/digital, publishing, film and television, games, and associated merchandise businesses on a global basis”), with a score and soundtrack by Common who “is also attached to star as the title character” (which I take to mean Common will lend his likeness to the character) and is also being produced by Common’s production company Freedom Road.
Which means Madefire isn’t the only digital comics company having soundtracks, though this will one-up them.
I think we might be getting a look at how the transmedia franchise sausage is made. This has the appearance of comics and film folks getting all their pieces together before the comic launched, so they can immediately start looking for film funding… with the franchise lead actor already in place.
Official PR follows:
LOS ANGELES, November 14, 2017 – LINE Webtoon (http://www.webtoons.com), the popular digital comics publisher pioneering the development and distribution of comics worldwide, today announced the development of ‘Caster,’ an original multi-media comic series created by the team at Noble Transmission and featuring an original song and score from Oscar-Winning Artist and Actor, Common. Bringing together action-packed art and storytelling with original music to set the tone, Caster follows the adventures of a world traveling rare antiques dealer who gets caught up in a world of international espionage. The series will be featured exclusively on LINE Webtoon and is scheduled to debut in early 2018.
‘Caster’ is an original concept created by the team at Noble Transmission, with story by Austin Harrison (Wild Blue Yonder), Zach Howard (Wild Blue Yonder, TMNT, The Cape), and Mike Raicht (Wild Blue Yonder, The Stuff of Legend,). Comic book artist Jason Masters, whose recent credits include Dynamite’s critically acclaimed James Bond with writer Warren Ellis and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, is developing art for the series with scripts by Mike Raicht.
“It is an honor to work with the entire team on Caster and see this character come to life with such passion and energy. LINE Webtoon is a great partner, and we are thrilled to see Caster transmit through the digital comic book medium for a global audience”, said Austin Harrison, CEO of Noble Transmission.
The creative team has partnered with Freedom Road Productions, led by Derek Dudley and Shelby Stone to produce the project including an original score and new song by musician, actor and Academy Award, Grammy, and Emmy-winning composer Common (Selma, 13th, John Wick 2). Common is also attached to star as the title character and G-BASE, Gerard Butler and Alan Siegel’s production company (Law Abiding Citizen, Olympus Has Fallen, Den of Thieves) is also on board to produce.
“The moment I learned about Caster I knew the story was something special. The main character resonated with me instantly and I jumped at the chance to bring the comic to life in a more complex way through music,” said Common.
Caster follows its title character, a world traveling rare antiquities dealer just looking for his next payday, whose lifestyle leads him to get caught up in a world of international espionage. A man of exotic taste, Caster is addicted to one thing: risk. However, to some, his appeal exists not because of his lifestyle, but because he truly cares about making sure the rare antiques he chases end up in the hands of a passionate buyer. He respects art and expects others to as well. No museums though. He needs to get paid!
“We are incredibly excited to premiere this groundbreaking digital comic project and have Common on board to help bring an exciting music dimension,” said Junkoo Kim, Founder and Head of LINE Webtoon. “The team at Noble Transmission is pioneering a new way to experience comics with their top-notch work and we are confident that readers will love the way Common’s music blends with their immersive storytelling.”
Executive Producers for LINE Webtoon are its Founder Junkoo Kim, CEO Hyungil Kim, and Head of Content Tom Akel.
About LINE Webtoon:
LINE Webtoon is the global leader in digital comics. LINE Webtoon is available on iOS, Android, tablets and web browsers. LINE Webtoon was launched by NAVER, Korea’s top search portal in 2004, and launched globally in 2014. To date, LINE Webtoon has over 10 million daily unique readers around the globe, and over 35 million monthly unique readers. Pioneering the distribution and consumption of digital comics worldwide, LINE Webtoon is taking the comic experience to the next level by providing readers with daily curated content, and giving creators an intuitive platform designed to help them easily publish and publicize their own original comics.
About Freedom Road:
Freedom Road Productions is a film and television production company founded by Academy Award Winning artist and actor, Common and his long time manager and business partner, Derek Dudley. Shelby Stone serves as President of Production and Melisa Resch serves as Creative Executive.
Upcoming projects under the Freedom Road banner include the Showtime series, “The Chi” which was written by the Emmy Award winning Lena Waithe who also serves as executive producer. The pilot episode was directed by Rick Famuyiwa (of DOPE) and will premiere on January 7, 2018. Freedom Road has teamed up with Jerry Bruckheimer Television and RZA’s Wu Films for the upcoming series for Starz, “Black Samurai” which will be starring Common. The series is based on the Black Samurai novels written by Marc Olden which was also the basis for the 1977 film.
Last year Freedom Road produced the award winning children’s program, AN AMERICAN GIRL STORY – MELODY 1963: LOVE HAS TO WIN for Amazon.
Common and Freedom Road are both represented by CAA.
G-BASE has filmed Millennium’s submarine thriller Hunter Killer, STX’s Den of Thieves and Keepers, with the third installment of Butler’s Olympus Has Fallen franchise also in the offing. G-BASE is currently shooting the dramatic thriller Them That Follow.
About Noble Transmission:
Noble Transmission (NobleTransmission.com) is a comic book entertainment company for the digital age with a focus on mobile/digital, publishing, film and television, games, and associated merchandise businesses on a global basis. Releases include “Wild Blue Yonder” which was selected as one of the 100 Great Graphic Novels for Teens by YALSA of the American Library Association, Amazon’s Top Ten for May of 2015, and “Tree Mail” which won the Most Epic Adventure Award from the Kid’s Comic book choice awards (voted on by kids). Noble Transmission will be releasing the all ages digital comic series “BUCK” in 2018.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.