A trio of Hollywood veterans are teaming up to reinvent 1950s B-movies from the American International Pictures library.
Producer Lou Arkoff, writer-producer Jeff Katz and ICM alum Hal Sadoff have joined forces on the venture, which will reimagine the AIP catalog as a single shared movie universe that will feature a recurring cast of antiheroes, monsters and bad girls.
The effort will extend to licensing, gaming, online media and other ancillaries.
The trio will initially remake 10 of the 25 titles in the Arkoff/Nicholson library of AIP-produced genre films, including “Girls in Prison,” “Viking Women & the Sea Serpent,” “The Brain Easters,” “She-Creature,” “Teenage Caveman,” “Runaway Daughters,” “The Undead,” “War of the Colossal Beast,” “Cool and the Crazy” and “Day the World Ended.”
The 10 films set in the new AIP universe, all of which were written by Katz, will be shot together, back-to-back, with production starting in the fall.
Founded in 1954 by Arkoff’s father, Samuel Z. Arkoff, and James H. Nicholson, AIP was known for releasing low-budget indie movies for a teenage audience, including the early films of director Roger Corman and the “Beach Party” series with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.
In 1979, AIP merged with Filmways, which was later folded into Orion Pictures. The rest of the company’s library is owned by MGM.
Arkoff previously produced remake of AIP titles for Showtime’s “Rebel Highway” series as well as a series of AIP creature titles for HBO/Cinemax in the early 2000s with Stan Winston.
Katz, who has written comic books for DC Comics and Top Cow, previously worked as a studio executive on genre films such as “Shoot ‘Em Up,” “Freddy vs. Jason” and “Snakes on a Plane.”
“The timing is perfect to reinvent these great titles,” said Sadoff, who was most recently the head of ICM’s international and independent film group. “The independent film marketplace has never been stronger, with traditional along with new and exciting distribution platforms for consumers to access content. We will be working with established and cutting edge talent to create films that are fun and commercial, while maintaining the integrity of the classic AIP titles.”