Wheelman Gets Rolling

If Vin Diesel just sets your heart a-flutter whether he be in the flesh or digitally rendered, then you should head on over to 3D Downloads, which has both standard and high-def trailers available for his new videogame/music/movie action extravaganza. The franchise in the making, announced back in February, seems to share a lot of “spirit” with The Transporter, as seen in the main character’s refusal to do much of anything if his rules aren’t followed. Here’s hoping this film/game combo packs the same punch and doesn’t get mired down in too many Fast and the Furious-style over the top antics.

“The Wheelman” To Come to Life as Video Game Property and Feature Film; Vin Diesel to Star and Produce

Vin Diesel’s Tigon Studios Joins Forces with Midway, MTV Films, Paramount Pictures and MTV Games For Groundbreaking Collaboration on Action-Entertainment Property

Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA, February 22, 2006 – Bringing together some of the top content providers in entertainment, Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY), a leading interactive entertainment industry publisher and developer, Tigon Studios, founded by Vin Diesel, and Viacom’s (NYSE: VIA, VIAB) MTV Films, Paramount Pictures and MTV Games today announced a collaboration on a groundbreaking action-entertainment property, The Wheelman.

The Wheelman is being developed as an intensely riveting video game from Midway, in association with Diesel’s Tigon Studios and MTV Games, intended to serve as the introduction to a series of related entertainment offerings.

MTV Films and Paramount Pictures have purchased the rights to develop a major motion picture based on the video game. The Wheelman is being developed as an adrenaline-charged action movie starring Vin Diesel as an expert wheelman who comes out of retirement to protect a woman from his past.

Rich Wilkes, who worked with Diesel on “XXX,” is slated to write the script for the project. Diesel’s Tigon Films and MTV Films plan to produce the film, and Paramount Pictures intends to release it. Overseeing the film for MTV Films will be David Gale, Executive Vice President, Loretha Jones, Senior Vice President of Development and Jason Weiss, Senior Director of Development. Overseeing for Paramount will be Dan Levine, Senior Vice President Production, Matt Jackson, Vice President Production and Eben Davidson, Director Creative Affairs. Overseeing for Diesel’s Tigon Studios will be Samantha Vincent, Vice President and Coz Lazouras, Product Development Executive.

The Wheelman will be the second of three titles under the recently announced strategic relationship between MTV Networks and Midway to market, jointly sell in-game advertising and collaborate on soundtrack development.

“With The Wheelman we have created the first integrated franchise being launched for both the gaming and film industries,” said Vin Diesel. “In collaborating with Midway, MTV and Paramount, TIGON Studios has brought together an incredible team to execute this project.”

“We believe The Wheelman is a groundbreaking new model for our industry,” said David F. Zucker, president and CEO, Midway. “We intend to create a broad-arcing experience, simultaneously developing entertainment properties across a number of mediums, with Vin Diesel right at the center of it all.”

“We’ve been big Vin Diesel fans since he first wrote, directed and starred in his first feature ‘Strays,’ so partnering to bring this kick-ass character to life across multiple screens is not only exciting, but reflective of how we want to work with talent,” said Van Toffler, President, MTV Networks Music/Films/Logo Group. “With some of the biggest names in the feature film and gaming worlds joining forces on The Wheelman, we’ve got all the makings of a very cool franchise.”

“With the close cooperation of Midway, Paramount and MTV Films, we are putting together a new way to tell a story,” said Cos Lazouras, production executive, Tigon Studios. “Working in tandem with the movie, we envision the video game will introduce The Wheelman in a way that creates a unique connection with the audience that will blend the interactive world with the experience of the motion picture.”

tim.stevens

Freelance journalist and software architect based in Upstate NY. I write for a variety of different places (as you’ll see) -- maybe even for you if you ask nicely.

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