Tom Filsinger's dream of seeing "Champions Of The Galaxy" on the big screen just got a little bit closer to reality.
Filsinger, of Filsinger Games, founded Dark Menace Productions in 2009 as a platform for developing creative intellectual properties, including a "Champions of the Galaxy" e-book series. That series, which began with the release of part one, "Champions of the Galaxy: Battle For Cetus," has garnered the attention of Hollywood writer Mark Litton. Litton, who is the writer for series such as "Power Rangers," "V.R. Troopers" and "TRON: Uprising," is currently developing a "Champions Of The Galaxy" screenplay to be completed in January 2014.
According to Filsinger, after searching high and low, near and far, and everywhere in-between for the right person to adapt his books for film, he came upon Litton at X-Bar in Los Angeles.
Star Warrior and Thantos, the main hero and villain of Dark Menace Production’s “Champions of the Galaxy: Battle For Cetus,” are shown in this publicity image for Tom Filsinger’s three-part e-book series. The two characters will be featured in the feature-length screenplay currently being written by Mark Litton. Also shown is SuperNova, the female heroine of the screenplay.
"I started to go to scriptwriter groups to meet people to learn about how to turn my concept into a reality," Filsinger said. "I found that Mark and I had a lot of common interests, we were in the same ballpark with sci-fi and I picked him because he is an amazingly good writer. While out to lunch one time I spelled out the whole concept, and Mark liked the idea. So, there came a point when I learned what I needed to do - get a screenplay written and a pitch book. By this time Mark and I had not only become professional acquaintances, but friends also, so we decided we would work together on this project."
"It's a really good property that I naturally gravitated toward," Litton added. "I've always had an interest in science fiction and action, and 'Power Rangers' and 'V.R. Troopers' have many of the same elements that I see in Tom's script. Although Tom's version is certainly aimed at a higher level, it's family friendly and suited for a variety of audiences."
Upon completion of the screenplay, Filsinger and Litton will work on a pitch book that will serve to market the collaborative project to various production companies in hope of generating interest in the script to find a production team. They agreed that the ultimate goal is to bring "Champions Of The Galaxy" to the big screen, and possibly to television as well.
ADAPT AND EVOLVE
"Champions Of The Galaxy," which is a science fiction wrestling game, stepped into the realm of superheroes when Filsinger released "Champions of the Galaxy: Battle For Cetus" in 2010. Two years later Filsinger is ready to release part two of the series, "Champions of the Galaxy: Ultimate Betrayal."
According to Filsinger, the novelization of "Champions of the Galaxy" was the result of the effort to take concepts from the game and comics to develop a story for a movie.
"Instead of focusing on a bunch of game characters I focused on three main people: Star Warrior, SuperNova and Thantos," Filsinger said. "My goal was to write a compelling origin story and action-packed adventure about how these characters got their super powers, how they handle them and the conflicts they face as a result."
Part three is also currently in the works, and will need to be completed before Litton can put the finishing touches on the screenplay that will transform Filsinger's e-book trilogy into a live-action adventure.
"Tom's got a very rich universe of numerous characters, not all of which we're going to put in the movie, but we've identified the ones we will," Litton said. "We were able to draw from a number of different worlds with characters who have different motivations and psychologies - and plenty of action. From this beginning we decided where this story was going to be headed for the last third."
ORIGINS OF HEROES AND VILLAINS
Star Warrior, one of the main characters featured in the e-book series, will serve as one of the focal points of the screenplay. So, Filsinger and Litton must find a way to bring life to a character that has never before had a live-action equivalent.
"Star Warrior is a very interesting character in that he's divided about his feelings about his father and a character named SuperNova who is the female lead," Litton said. "I take the point of view of looking at the transformation of the character from a person who is idealistic and naive to some degree to watch his growth both as somebody who comes to grip with the responsibility he has been given as he is transformed and what his journey and actions do to transform others."
But, according to Filsinger, the film will focus on more than just Star Warrior's journey, as the origin stories of SuperNova and Thantos will also be revealed.
"Each of the three main characters will have their journey in this movie," Filsinger said. "We felt it was important to establish SuperNova as strong female lead character, and even Thantos is not a black-and-white villain by any means."
Although Star Warrior, SuperNova and Thantos take on the lead roles, other characters will also make appearances, such as fan-favorite Wolf. His appearance will serve as far more than just a cameo though, said Filsinger.
"He does play a greater role, but it's secondary to the three main characters," Filsinger said.
A UNIVERSE OF
Although still in its infancy, Filsinger and Litton have visions of grandeur for the "Champions of the Galaxy" franchise.
The goal of the moment may be to complete a screenplay for the first live-action movie, but images of a trilogy dance playfully in their minds. Television is also not out of the question, and mention of someday shedding light on a cartoon sparked excitement akin to that of a child waking up early for Saturday morning cartoons in the demeanor of both grown men.
"At this point I think that's further down the line, but it is certainly an option that I would love exploring," Litton said. "There is a quite a bit of science fiction on television, and when it hits it does very well. The truth of the matter is that Tom has created a very rich universe for these characters that could really be explored properly in a television setting."
"As far as television goes it could be live-action or a cartoon series," Filsinger added. "One of the producers I met during my visits to Los Angeles was looking into is as a cartoon, and he is one of the few people who may seen this screenplay at some point."
The "Champions of the Galaxy: Battle For Cetus" e-book and printable game are available now for $4.95 at darkmenacepro.com. For more information, visit www.filsingergames.com, www.filsingerpublishing.com or search for "Dark Menace Productions" and "Champions of the Galaxy" on Facebook.