SOURCE: Mike The Pike Productions, Inc.

Mike The Pike Productions, Inc.

February 17, 2010 09:15 ET

Mike The Pike Secures Acclaimed Producer for George R.R. Martin's 'The Skin Trade'

MTP Introduces Ryan Colucci to the Pack; Hungry Like the Wolf for a Lycan Serial Killer

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - February 17, 2010) - (PINKSHEETS: MIKP) -- Mike The Pike Productions, Inc. and Oscar Award contender Ryan Colucci, have entered into a partnership agreement securing Colucci as a Co-Producer on the screen adaptation of George R.R. Martin's "The Skin Trade." The werewolf novella, recently optioned by Mike the Pike Productions, is described by Newbauer and Colucci as "'Silence of the Lambs' meets 'The Howling,' that said, the story itself is something one could only expect from the mind of world-renown, award-winning fantasy author, George R.R. Martin."

"We couldn't be happier to have signed Ryan to the team for 'Skin Trade,'"says Mark B. Newbauer, CEO/President of Mike the Pike Productions. "This is quite a coup for MTP and its shareholders as Ryan is more than a producer by title; He's an accomplished producer with solid industry deals and contacts in every aspect of the industry. This includes studios to talent to distribution, many of which are household names like Warner Brothers and Lionsgate."

Colucci, after graduating from USC's prestigious Peter Stark Producing MFA Program in 2004, joined Snoot Entertainment as Producer on the CG-animated feature "Battle for Terra, "which was released on May 1, 2009 from Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, in both 2D and 3D. The film positioned Colucci as one of the youngest producers to contend for an Oscar Nomination in his category as it was included in a handful of films contending for Oscar Nominations for Animated Feature in this year's upcoming ceremony.

In 2007, Ryan Colucci, along with acclaimed director Mike Newell ("Prince of Persia: Sands of Time," "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"), teamed up with Warner Brothers Pictures to produce Terry Brooks' "Shannara" fantasy series (twelve books in total). "We feel this accomplishment to be akin to one possible outcome for 'The Skin Trade,' which will be packaged by Mike the Pike Productions in collaboration with Colucci for a dual strategy toward shareholders' best interest execution including studio acquisition and independent financing/production," continues Newbauer.

On the topic of his track record with Werewolves: Colucci, founder of Spoke Lane Entertainment, a feature film and publishing company, is currently in production on the graphic novel "Harbor Moon," a story about a soldier trapped in a town at the center of a battle between werewolves and their hunters, and a dark secret which leaves him with questions as to which side to fight for. The graphic novel is published by Arcana Studio. In the summer of 2008, Ryan sold his script "Lobo" to Stone Village Pictures, with John Stockwell ("Blue Crush," "Turistas") attached to direct. According to Variety Magazine, "Lobo," about a colony of werewolves deep in the jungles of Brazil, will become a potential werewolf trilogy. On the decision to bring Colucci on as a Producer, Newbauer comments, "It was a no-brainer from the get-go. I contacted Ryan initially because I knew he had experience bringing graphic novels to life; around the same time we picked up 'The Skin Trade,' Avatar Press picked up the graphic novel rights. I figured with Ryan's background, he may help us as a consultant to work with Avatar in merging our companies' visions of Martin's work. Instead, I receive an email back from an avid George R.R. Martin fan in Colucci, who also proclaimed that 'Skin Trade' is one of his favorite stories and that he was duly impressed with our acquisition. After discussing and verifying his abilities in bringing powerful elements to the table in terms of CGI/FX, Studio involvement, attaching name talent (screenwriters, director & cast), in addition to our own resources, both parties decided rather quickly to take this project on together full force."

Colucci adds, "Just like I am with the 'Shannara' series, which I'm co-producing with Warner Brothers, I have been a devoted Martin fan my whole life and it is exciting to be a part of bringing one of his books to the screen. Mark and his company, Mike the Pike Productions, have done an amazing job securing the rights and it was important for me to hear that they did not want to spit out a movie for the sake of turning a profit, but actually make a great film, first and foremost, with profits we can all be proud of on many levels at the end of the day. I am confident that with my producing background steeped heavily in visual effects together with Mike the Pike, we can make a gripping film that George R.R. Martin enthusiasts are excited about, while doing his vision for the world of lycanthropes justice."

Newbauer agrees: "Ryan's vision is very much in line with ours on this project with a personality conducive to a partnership that I feel will turn a profitable project with mass appeal. We both see eye to eye on just about every aspect of the story in terms of adapting it to the screen with an original creative vision while maintaining a sense of loyalty for the rich universe of dark, compelling character, tone and lore created in Martin's much praised novella."

Colucci says what drew him specifically to "The Skin Trade," "Is that it is a thrilling Raymond Chandler-esque detective story at heart, but it just happens to involve werewolves. I'm fascinated with the concept that these creatures of myth can exist in our society right under our noses. And master craftsman George R.R. Martin keeps the audience on the edge of their seats with the twists and turns of the case." Newbauer and Ryan both feel 'The Skin Trade' will be a thriving project with franchise/sequel appeal and possibly even a TV series/spinoff.

"THE SKIN TRADE": From the best -selling author of the "Song of Ice and Fire" series comes this chilling story of a werewolf out for more than blood: When a string of grotesque killings begins to strike her small town, private detective Randi Wade becomes suspicious. The grisly murders remind her all too much of her own father's death over 20 years ago. Now there is a killer in town who not only slays his victims, but also takes their skin. Undaunted, Randi prods the police as the murders continue, each more brutal than the last. When a close friend suddenly becomes a target, he is forced to reveal a startling secret about himself and Randi is quickly pulled into a dark world within her own town where monsters exist and prey on the living.

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