Dark Horse and Universal have announced a 3-year production/distro deal. Universal is putting out this year’s HELLBOY 2 (which was long without a studio; HELLBOY 1 was at Revolution). With the success of Sin City, 300 and 30 Days of Night (which Dark Horse also had a production credit on, despite it being published by IDW) it’s a nice proven brand for Hollywood. Up next: the Goon movie, perhaps?

Universal Pictures and Dark Horse Entertainment have signed a three-year production and distribution agreement that establishes a studio home for all of Dark Horse’s creative properties going forward. The agreement was jointly announced by Marc Shmuger and David Linde, Chairman and Co-Chairman of Universal Pictures; and Mike Richardson, founder and President of Dark Horse.

Under the terms of the deal, Universal would have creative access to all Dark Horse characters and properties, as well as any material that Dark Horse might acquire on its own and want to develop as a motion picture. In addition, Dark Horse would have the opportunity to distribute movies through Universal.

Universal Pictures is opening Hellboy II: The Golden Army, directed by Guillermo del Toro and based on Mike Mignola’s Dark Horse Comics character, on July 11, 2008.

“Dark Horse is one of the most creative and innovative brands in the entertainment industry, as well as an incredibly supportive home for some of the most exciting storytellers working today,” said Shmuger and Linde in a joint statement. “Their unique connection to youth culture is proven, and we are thrilled to be part of their expanding film production work.”

Mike Richardson responded, “We’ve worked with many studios and have had several great experiences, but we are particularly happy to be joining forces with Universal Pictures in this deal. We feel a real connection with their vision and the energy and creativity they bring to developing our properties. We are also excited by the option that we’ll have to independently produce our own material and distribute it through
Universal; their flexibility in this collaboration is what we were looking for, and we’re glad we found it.”

Donna Langley, President of Production, Universal Pictures, added, “We are very much looking forward to working with Dark Horse’s talented writers and artists, and to realizing their wealth of creative content onscreen.”

Dark Horse Entertainment is represented by Endeavor and The Gotham Group.


  1. Wow! O.O

    Hopefully, Dark Horse got a great deal or if Universal makes one of their movies, DH gets a large percentage, cause to open up full access to everything they have!?!?? Just wow! O.O

  2. I’m curious about this deal though… Just in regards that Dark Horse doesn’t “own” much of what is popular in their library in the way Marvel owns Spider-man. Yeah we got a Hellboy, Sin City, and 300 movies but those are owned by their respective creators I thought. The 300 movie didn’t even say “Dark Horse” or had a DH Logo anywhere in the credits, and the whole deal to make it was brokered by Frank himself if memory serves. If we want a Goon movie (and if Uni is smart that’s the first thing they are going for) I would assume that has to ultimately be Eric Powell’s call and not DH’s. Though, who’d turn down an movie opportunity if DH can create one for them.

  3. Rights are a strange thing in Hollywood, but… picture Art Adams producing an Abbott and Costello graphic novel!
    Or maybe an E.T. comic book, or Back To The Future, or maybe Mr. Spielberg might actually create or test a new idea in print before film… (He sort of works for Paramount nowadays, but I’m sure he could work around that…)
    Oh man… one could play this game all night: take a Universal movie, imagine the comicbook, and cast the writer and artist! I’ll suggest Animal House…

  4. Yeah, it’s a little confusing how they can make this deal, unless Dark Horse is just lining up deals and then offers them to the artists but with no guarantee since the artists would be free to line up their own- unless a “first look” right is asserted in the DH contract.

    Aliens vs. Predator was first created as a DH comic and when that made huge money along with the string of the movies listed in Heidi’s post, obviously someone realized DH was a good mine for film ideas. Does this explain the sudden burst of new comics created by Mike Richardson? (at least it appears to me to be the case as I don’t recall seeing many comics from him for some time, but it’s not like I’m a big reader of DH comics, and no I’m not saying it like it’s a bad thing- who could blame him?)

    Also, isn’t Conan published by Dark Horse now and isn’t there a new Conan movie in the works? Yet another notch in their belt if it does well.