Diesel at the Wheel of New Franchise

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Vin Diesel's Tigon Studios joins forces with Midway, MTV Films, Paramount Pictures and MTV Games for a Collaboration on a new game to movie project.

Bringing together some of the top content providers in entertainment, the announcement confirms that Vin Diesel will star in the movie version of the action-entertainment property, The Wheelman.

The Wheelman is being developed as a 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.

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.

From the comments of the various participants it is obvious that both game and movie makers are eager to work in this way of co-developing projects for both the big and the computer screens, possibly saving some cash on the assets and their utilization as well. A similar model is utilized in most big budget movie productions which often have a simultaneous game release. This however, is the first time when the reverse will take place i.e. a game will result in a simultaneously released movie. This can mean one of two things, either the games industry has inspired such confidence in Hollywood that they are happy to spend money without knowing how big the game is or... the movie and game will be so cheap to make that the entire effort is not much of a risk.

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.

There is hope however that such a model could help expand on the characters of the project and produce a deeper more involving game, the possibilities of using both mediums in order to bring something new are there, 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.

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