Midway Games Inc., Tigon Studios, founded by Vin Diesel, and Viacom's MTV Films, Paramount Pictures and MTV Games announced a collaboration on a groundbreaking action-entertainment property, THE WHEELMAN.
THE WHEELMAN is being developed as a videogame from Midway, in association with 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, starring 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. 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, evp; Loretha Jones, svp of development; and Jason Weiss, senior director of development. Overseeing for Paramount will be: Dan Levine, svp production; Matt Jackson, vp production; and Eben Davidson, director creative affairs. Overseeing for Tigon Studios will be vp Samantha Vincent and product development exec Coz Lazouras.
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 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/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 Lazouras. "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."