Finnish media fund IPR.VC has announced that it is funding the development of a TV series based on Roberto Ricci’s YA Fantasy book series, The Red Harlequin.
The agreement will see IPR.VC invest in the immediate development of a TV series and the long term, multi-platform strategy of the YA fantasy property, which currently encompasses five books (with five more planned over five years), a graphic novel (with a second in production), and several licensees (music, jewellery).
“The Red Harlequin is a unique and compelling IP whose content can easily extend from books and comics to a plethora of formats and adaptations, such as TV, music, video games, film and licensing. We are confident that The Red Harlequin will become an exciting phenomenon,” said Timo Argillander, managing partner at IPR.VC.
The agreement was reached with the author and his agent Lisa Hryniewicz, who have consequently co-founded Pantomimus Media, a limited company that will hold and develop all rights to The Red Harlequin.
“We are thrilled that the team at IPR.VC has joined us in developing The Red Harlequin as a global entertainment franchise. IPR’s strategic support will be instrumental to its success as a quintessential 360 transmedia property and we are very excited to be working together to make it happen,” said Ricci.
The first stage of IPR.VC’s investment in The Red Harlequin TV series development has kicked off with newly formed Pantomimus Media, in association with executive producer Rick Porras. Porras’ previous credits include: Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (co-producer, and second unit director); Robert Zemeckis’ Contact and Forrest Gump; and most recently, Sony London Studio's upcoming title, Blood & Truth – a high-octane action narrative game, developed exclusively for PlayStation VR (performance capture directing).
Porras will draw on his experience in fantasy mega-projects to oversee both the creative aspects of the TV production as well as its long-term 360 strategy.
The Red Harlequin saga features Asheva, an aspirational teenager living in a complex world divided among Chrome Nations, where everyone lives hidden behind a mask. Drawing inspiration from events such as the Arab Spring, Indignados and Occupy Wall Street, The Red Harlequin is an allegory on society, religion, politics, morality and revolution.