LIONSGATE®, VARSITY PICTURES AND THE COLLECTIVE PRODUCING NIGHT OF THE
SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 7, 2011 /CNW/ -- LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, announced today that YouTube star "Fred Figglehorn," the internet sensation created by teen actor Lucas Cruikshank, is returning to the screen in the 3D feature film NIGHT OF THE LIVING FRED, the follow-up to the 2010 feature film FRED: THE MOVIE which debuted on Nickelodeon on September 18, 2010 to record ratings. The film is a co-production from Lionsgate, Varsity Pictures and The Collective (where Cruikshank is also represented). Brian Robbins and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett of Varsity Pictures and Gary Binkow and Evan Weiss of The Collective are producing the film. Michael Green, CEO of The Collective, will executive produce.
Lionsgate has North American distribution rights and is also selling international rights to the film. Production is currently underway in Los Angeles with John Fortenberry (BLUE MOUNTAIN STATE) directing from a script by David A. Goodman (FAMILY GUY).
"Fred's journey from internet character to media star has been nothing short of astounding, and we're excited to partner with Lionsgate to bring the second feature film based on Fred's hilarious adventures to life," said producer Robbins.
"We're always excited to partner with talent who has a direct relationship with a broad online fan base, because there are so many possibilities for engaging that audience throughout the filmmaking and marketing process. Lucas is a true next generation entertainer, and we are so proud to bring Fred, the unique character he created, to his fans in 3D," said Lionsgate's President of Motion Picture Development and Production Michael Paseornek. "Fred has already conquered the online world and achieved record ratings for Nickelodeon, and we believe he's ready for his feature film debut."
"We are always looking for ways to help creative, entrepreneurial talent like Lucas reach new audiences and extend their brands across new platforms," Michael Green said. "NIGHT OF THE LIVING FRED is sure to prove to the vast fan base that Lucas has already established on the Web and on television that he has even bigger plans in store for them in the future."
The project has benefited from synergy between Lionsgate's television and motion picture businesses. Varsity Pictures' Brian Robbins produces BLUE MOUNTAIN STATE for Lionsgate Television, currently in its second season on Spike, leading to Fortenberry's selection as the right choice to direct FRED.
In a similar manner to the Company's recently announced microbudget initiative, the film will adhere to Lionsgate's focus on films whose quality is driven more by concept and execution than budget and will remain true to Fred's roots as a internet phenomenon.
Cruikshank is reprising his starring role as fast-talking, hyperactive kid "Fred Figglehorn," the character who stars in his popular YouTube videos which collectively have been viewed more 700 million times. Cruikshank's "Fred" channel has over two million subscribers, putting it in the top five most-subscribed YouTube channels ever. Among his other projects, Cruikshank will also star in a half-hour series at Nickelodeon, "Marvin Marvin," produced by The Collective and written by Jon Ross (FATHER OF THE PRIDE).
NIGHT OF THE LIVING FRED was packaged by UTA, which represents Cruikshank, Robbins and Goodman. Fortenberry is represented by ICM.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution and new channel platforms. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of prime time cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming through Debmar-Mercury and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 15 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its prime time production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as "Mad Men", "Weeds" and "Nurse Jackie" along with recent series such as "Blue Mountain State" and the syndication successes "Tyler Perry's House Of Payne", its spinoff "Meet The Browns", "The Wendy Williams Show" and "Are We There Yet?".
Its feature film business has generated more than half a billion dollars at the North American box office in the past year, fueled by such hits as THE EXPENDABLES, which was #1 at the North American box office for two weeks, THE LAST EXORCISM, TYLER PERRY'S WHY DID I GET MARRIED TOO?, KICK ASS and the critically-acclaimed PRECIOUS, which won two Academy Awards®. The Company's home entertainment business has grown to more than 7% market share and is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 13,000 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 brand remains synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
About Varsity Pictures
Producer Brian Robbins, founder and president of Varsity Pictures, is one of entertainment's most prolific producers. In features, Robbins has directed and/or produced films such as Disney's WILD HOGS, Dreamworks' NORBIT, Paramount's COACH CARTER, Disney's THE SHAGGY DOG, Sony's RADIO, Paramount's VARSITY BLUES, and the upcoming Dreamworks movie, A THOUSAND WORDS, starring Eddie Murphy, which Robbins directed and produced. Robbins is also responsible for numerous popular and critical television hits, including the long-running CW series SMALLVILLE and ONE TREE HILL, Disney Channel's hit series SONNY WITH A CHANCE and Spike TV's original scripted comedy, BLUE MOUNTAIN STATE. Robbins was also the producing force behind series such as Nickelodeon's ALL THAT, WB's WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU and HBO's ARLI$$.
About The Collective
The Collective is a leading entertainment management, production and distribution company. Formed in 2005, The Collective's mission is to unlock the value of the direct relationship between artists and their fans by identifying, developing building and maximizing opportunities for creative talent across a multitude of media platforms. Clients include Linkin Park, Counting Crows, Enrique Iglesias, Slash, Alanis Morisette, Godsmack, Martin Lawrence, Michelle Rodriguez, Emile Hirsch, Jason Isaacs, Eliza Dushku, Eddie Izzard and Lucas Cruikshank AKA "Fred." Based in Beverly Hills, The Collective employs a staff of more than seventy employees.
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For corporate inquiries, please contact:
Peter D. Wilkes310-255-3726pwilkes@lionsgate
For further information: Web Site: http://www.lionsgate.com