U.K.-based online graphic novel The Many Worlds of Jonas Moore has been optioned by MGM Domestic Television Distribution for development as a TV series. Word is that the Sci-Fi Channel may be the destination of choice for the series according to sources. “It’s more likely to be a cable series here in the U.S.,” Chris Ottinger, exec VP of worldwide TV for MGM said. “But it has a real shot to be on terrestrial TV in the U.K.”
The Webby-honoree trilogy series, which first hit the web last winter, is an impressive mash-up of 3D gaming, dark comics and live-action sci-fi. Also nominated at MIPCOM 2007’s Mobile and Internet TV Awards in the Best Short Form Mobile and Internet Drama category, the online version is a trilogy of second-generation graphic novels. The whole thing is set in a world where the British Empire never ended and America is just a virtual world hosted within a vast global game network. The title character, Jonas Moore, is personally created by the network’s founder, and thrown into the simulated world where all the colorful characters, creatures and monsters are all slaves to the gamers from the real world. Of course just like The Matrix, when Moore becomes self-aware of what’s happened, he’s tagged as a virus.
Created and directed by Howard Webster and his team at Factory Publishing Ltd, the trilogy stars British film actor Colin Salmon (Resident Evil; Die Another Day) as Jonas. Triumph Motorcycles is also involved from the start as a lead sponsor with Moore favoring his Triumph as his ride of choice while constantly on the run from the network.
“MGM is a great place for The Many Worlds of Jonas Moore,” said Webster. “There has never been a black British action hero before and what appealed to me was that MGM understood this from the outset. Moore is sophisticated, educated, tough and uber-cool. He represents the next generation of intelligent action heroes of international sci-fi drama,” he added.
For those hoping for more online Moore installments, it looks like this may be it for a while. You’ll still be able to download the trilogy here. It’s a little sad to see Moore packing up and heading for traditional TV so soon. In fact, before the MGM deal, Webster said in the original press release for the show how strongly he felt about the web as the next great outlet for branded content. “The global media agencies are simply trying to copy what teenagers and web-heads are already doing in their millions with content on the web and are attempting to charge brand directors huge sums of money to do it. The Many Worlds of Jonas Moore is a wake up call to the global community of content generators mashing up video, music and imagery. Jonas Moore calls for web-heads and garage content creators to take back the content on the web – The average Mac has everything pre-loaded on it for you to go for it.”
Update: The original article incorrectly called Jonas Moore a Webby-nominated series, when in fact it was a Webby honoree. The correction has been made above. Thanks to Howard Webster for the correction.