Now begins the media onslaught for The Crazies franchise and no matter what format your heart desires, it seems you will be satiated. Originally a 1973 film by George Romero, The Crazies now has a new theatrical remake from Overture Films, a comic book series, Facebook “tower defense” game, motion comic, an interactive game, and an iPhone app.
The Top Cow printed comic book consists of four chapters: Hopman Bog, Dwyer Creek, Black Pond, and Ogden Marsh (first two issues were released yesterday with the second two following on February 24, 2010). The comic series traces an outbreak that takes over the minds and bodies of the citizens in Ogden Marsh, Iowa, and each chapter focuses on a different aspect of this epidemic. Jeff Katz of American Original produced the comic book on behalf of Overture Films and Participant Media. The writers for the miniseries are Ivan Brandon, Josh Fialkov, Brian Reed, and Marc Andreyko. You can download the comic book covers at www.thecrazies-movie.com/comicbooks.
The motion comic is being handled by Starz Digital Media, in association with Double Barrel Motion Labs, and will be a four-part animated companion to the film based on the comic miniseries. Episode 1 of the motion comic series, “Hopman Bog,” will be available for purchase on the iTunes and PlayStation® Network platforms on February 23, 2010.
For all you Facebook fanatics, Starz Digital Media and Merscom have also co-produced a social media game that brings Facebook members a chance to stop the Crazies in The Crazies Tower Defense. In the game, which is available for free, players must strategically place defenses around Ogden Marsh in order to prevent a perpetual onslaught of Crazies from attacking the town. The game utilizes the latest social networking functionality allowing players to share their progress and achievements with friends. For a small cost, users may purchase advanced weaponry and look for an edge in their battle against the Crazies. The Crazies Tower Defense may be played at http://apps.facebook.com/crazies.
Coinciding with the launch of the printed comic book series and the motion comic, the studio has also created the iPhone application Beware the Infected. The iPhone app allows users to photograph themselves or friends, “crazify” their face, and insert that picture into a “wanted” style warning flyer. The resulting image is branded with The Crazies logo and can be saved or emailed to friends directly from the app. Click here to download the app [link opens up iTunes application].
Overture also created an interactive game, Battlemail, that is a viral application designed to allow users to “battle” their friends as a “Crazy” from the movie via email or through Facebook. Users access the application through The Crazies movie website, choose ten attack moves, and send their challenge to their friends. Friends who have been challenged are given the opportunity to choose their own ten attack moves and the result is a live action movie clip where users can watch their battle. Resulting videos are either emailed or posted to the user’s Facebook wall, and have a nearly unlimited number of combinations.
The Crazies remake is scheduled to hit theaters on February 26, 2010. Breck Eisner directed the screenplay, written by Scott Kosar and Ray Wright, about the inhabitants of a small Kansas town beset by insanity and then death after a mysterious toxin contaminates their water supply.
The film stars Timothy Olyphant (Live Free or Die Hard) as the town’s sheriff, Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill) as his pregnant wife Judy who also doubles as the town doctor, Joe Anderson (Across the Universe) as the deputy sheriff and Danielle Panabaker (Friday the 13th) as a medical assistant. The film is produced by Michael Aguilar (Constantine, What Happens in Vegas), Dean Georgaris (The Manchurian Candidate) and Rob Cowan (Righteous Kill), with George Romero (Dawn of the Dead, Creepshow) executive producing.
While you’re waiting for the theatrical film’s release, check out the trailer for the motion comic below.