INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER “MERCHANT OF DEATH” ACQUIRED BY WONDERFILM MEDIA FOR NEW TV SERIES
September 5, 2018: Vancouver, British Columbia: The Wonderfilm Media Corporation. (TSXV: WNDR)(OTC: WDRFF), ("Wonderfilm" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the acquisition of the bestselling book, “Merchant of Death,” written by Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Braun and Douglas Farah. This acclaimed page-turner discloses the incredible real-life story of infamous international Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout. To develop this new high-profile series, Wonderfilm has partnered with Anthony Zuiker, creator of the CSI franchise and Jason Hervey through the new company, Zentraoquist LLC, along with Craig Piligian from Pilgrim Studios, a Lionsgate company (NYSE: LGF.A).
Emmy Award winning producer/executive and one of the four founding producers of Wonderfilm, Jeff Bowler, has packaged “Merchant of Death” and will be serving as Executive Producer, alongside his Wonderfilm partners, Bret Saxon, Kirk Shaw and Dan Grodnik. “Merchant of Death” also marks the return of Anthony Zuiker as he joins his first new series since he created and produced CSI, which ran on CBS from October 6, 2000 to September 27, 2015 and spanned 15 seasons with multiple franchise additions. Jason Hervey, a previous executive producer for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), alongside many other reality TV shows, is included in the impressive production team alongside Craig Piligian, who as Executive Producer, is best known for creating “The Ultimate Fighter”, “American Chopper” and “Dirty Jobs”, while winning an Emmy Award as co-Executive Producer of “Survivor”. The production team is rounded out by Joseph Giallombardo and Alexandre Coscas.
“Wonderfilm is thrilled to be working with television legends Jason Hervey, Craig Piligian and Anthony Zuiker on such iconic material,” said Jeff Bowler, Founding Producer of Wonderfilm. “Merchant of Death” has all the hallmarks of a long-standing and era defining TV series and adaptation that the industry is craving. Working with such a talented and successful production team is an honour and a great sign that we have found TV’s next epic series, as it has all of the hallmark traits of a major international success. We could not be more excited to bring this fascinating story to the masses in the form of a riveting and suspenseful TV series that quenches viewers thirst for original, emotionally charged content.”
Published by John Wiley & Sons, “Merchant of Death” is a gripping, suspenseful and thrilling real-life account of the investigations into one of the world’s most notorious arms dealers, Viktor Bout. Some of Victor Bout’s exploits were immortalized in the hit 2005 film, “Lord of War” starring Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke and Jared Leto. The producers are currently meeting with showrunners, networks and will provide Wonderfilm shareholders with updates as they occur.
About Pilgrim Studios
Craig Piligian's Pilgrim Studios produces a wide variety of unscripted and scripted programming for television, including hit series David Tutera's CELEBrations for WE tv; Bring It! and spin-off Step It Up! for Lifetime; Fast N' Loud, Misfit Garage, and Street Outlaws for Discovery; Ghost Hunters for Syfy; The Ultimate Fighter for FOX Sports 1; Welcome to Sweetie Pie's and Raising Whitley for OWN; Wicked Tuna and Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks for National Geographic Channel; Somebody's Gotta Do It with Mike Rowe for CNN; My Big Fat Fabulous Life for TLC; and Missing in Alaska for History. Pilgrim also produces the new FYI talk show series Kocktails with Khloe, hosted by Khloe Kardashian. In the scripted realm, Pilgrim is completing production on the new series Recovery Road for ABC Family. The company's original movies for Lifetime include Amanda Knox: Murder On Trial In Italy; Abducted: The Carlina White Story, which earned a 2012 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing In A Motion Picture; and the crime thriller Stalkers. “Pilgrim Studios,” was acquired by Lionsgate in 2015 for $200,000,000
Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms, video games and international distribution and sales. With Pilgrim Studios joining the Lionsgate family, the Company will now have nearly 80 television shows on 40 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses. These include the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black, the multiple Emmy Award-winning drama Mad Men, the hit broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show, the acclaimed drama Manhattan and the breakout series The Royals.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such successes as the blockbuster first three installments of The Hunger Games franchise, the first two installments of the Divergent franchise, Sicario, The Age of Adaline, CBS/Lionsgate's The DUFF, John Wick, Now You See Me, Roadside Attractions' Love Mercy and Mr. Holmes,
Lionsgate/Codeblack Films' Addicted and Pantelion Films' Instructions Not Included -- the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 16,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world. www.lionsgate.com
About Wonderfilm Media
Wonderfilm is a leading publicly traded (TSX Venture Exchange) entertainment company with offices in Beverly Hills, Vancouver, Canada and Seoul, South Korea. Wonderfilm's main business is the production of high-quality feature films and episodic television that offer international appeal through the Company's guiding philosophy of bringing new financing solutions to an entertainment industry increasingly looking for funding and co-production alternatives. Wonderfilm is a producer and distributor only for the projects disclosed. The legal ownership of movie productions are held in a special purpose legal entity held at arm’s length to the Company to facilitate for the qualification of various levels of domestic and foreign government tax credit incentives that are customary in the film and production business.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange Inc. (“Exchange”) nor its regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to substantial risks, uncertainties and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. These statements often include words such as "believe," "expect," “target,” "anticipate," “forecast,” "intend," "plan," "projects," "seek," "will," "may" or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which involve factors or circumstances that are beyond Wonderfilm’s control and Wonderfilm’s actual results could well differ materially from those stated or implied in forward-looking statements due to many various factors.
Although Wonderfilm believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, the Company cannot guarantee that the events and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements will be achieved or occur. The timing of events and circumstances and actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Accordingly, one should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. All such reflect the date made only. Wonderfilm undertakes no obligation to update or publicly revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
For further details, please see the Company’s documents filed on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval at www.sedar.com.
For further information, please contact:
The Wonderfilm Media Corporation,
Chief Executive Officer
Telephone: (604) 638-4890