Armory to Produce with Motor Content
Los Angeles – Rising independent production company Armory Films is gearing up to produce Unikorn, a feature adaptation of Don Handfield & Joshua Malkin’s original graphic novel which Armory developed and financed with Handfield and that Scout Comics is publishing in early 2021.
The film will mark celebrated, in-demand editor Debbie Berman’s (Black Panther, Spider Man: Homecoming, Captain Marvel) first effort behind the camera.
“Unikorn has heart, humor and ultimately leaves you feeling inspired and hopeful, story elements which define some of our favorite films like The Goonies, ET and The Black Stallion, and feelings we are all desperately seeking more now than ever,“ said Armory Films co-founders Chris Lemole & Tim Zajaros. “With Debbie Berman at the helm, this film is destined to be a magical feel-good adventure that will be remembered for decades to come,“ they added.
In Unikorn, Maeve “Mae” Everhart inherits Percy, an old horse with a strange nub in the center of his forehead that makes her believe it’s a unikorn – a unicorn with a broken horn. Mae soon discovers the horn was removed for a reason – to keep Percy safe from those would exploit or harm him. Mae must find the unicorn’s broken horn and prove to her skeptical father that her horse really is magical before everything she cares about is lost forever.
Unikorn is based on the graphic novel by Handfield and Joshua Malkin, which they have adapted for the screen, and will be produced by Armory’s Lemole and Zajaros, and Handfield.
Debbie Berman is most well known for her work as an Editor on Black Panther, which is the first super hero film ever to be nominated for several Academy Awards® (including Best Picture), and winner of 3.
Debbie is one of the very few females working on big budget features, and has had a meteoric career rise over the last couple of years. This began with her first foray into Marvel Studios editing Spider-man: Homecoming. This film was critically and commercially acclaimed, and reinvigorated the franchise to become 2017’s top grossing superhero film.
She then worked on Black Panther, which is nothing less than a cultural and film phenomenon. It received a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes (Marvel Studio’s highest scoring film), made $1.2 billion worldwide, and is one of the top grossing films of all time. Using her unique life experience of being born and raised in Africa, Debbie was able to help ensure the authenticity of Marvel’s first film set on the continent. One of her major contributions was to guide the narrative and the performances in a way that accentuated a multitude of powerful, interesting and inspiring female characters.
Debbie’s third film in a row at Marvel Studios was Captain Marvel. It is the first female led film in their cinematic universe. It grossed over a billion dollars within its first month of release, had the biggest worldwide opening weekend for a female led film, set the worldwide opening weekend record for a solo superhero film, and is the highest grossing female superhero film of all time.
Debbie was selected as one of Variety’s ‘Artisans Elite’ in 2018, and is now in high demand as one of the most exciting new talents in Hollywood.
Don Handfield is the co-creator of the History Channel drama series Knightfall. This is the fourth comic series he has sold or optioned to television. His first comic series THE RIFT was picked up by Steven Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment, and lensed as the season finale of the recent Amazing Stories anthology reboot on Apple +, for which he also co-wrote the teleplay. Handfield has several other properties in active development at various companies including the upcoming YA graphic novel Loot, The Mall also from Scout Comics and The Dark Age published by Red 5 comics.
“Unikorn was born when we both found ourselves dealing with the loss of a parent and wanted to create a story that could not only address our own pain, but also help our children process and deal with the subject in a manner that was full of hope, heart and wonder. We wanted Unikorn to have the magic of an Amblin film, the heart of Disney classic, and the action-packed fun of a mini-Marvel movie, and can’t think of a better director to bring that vision to life than Debbie, who was such an integral part of three of the biggest franchises of all time,” said Handfield & Malkin in a joint statement.
Handfield developed and produced The Founder starring Michael Keaton and Kill the Messenger starring two-time Academy Award® nominated actor Jeremy Renner, with whom Handfield co-founded their production company The Combine.
Joshua Malkin (Cabin Fever 2) has written feature projects for Sony, Fox, Cross Creek, Warner Brothers and Universal Pictures and is repped by Echo Lake Entertainment. Together, Malkin & Handfield co-wrote the top-selling comic series The Source, also for Scout Comics.
Scout Comics is launching SCOOT!, their new Kids & Teens division with the publication of Unikorn.
“The Unikorn graphic novel reminded us of the books we looked forward to getting from the Scholastic Book Fair as kids, perennial classics like Charlotte’s Web, Watership Down and Black Beauty. These were more than just great books for children, they were hopeful and heartbreaking stories that, like Unikorn, tackled deep and meaningful themes adults could also relate to. We can’t think of a better story to launch our new imprint, and can understand why it’s already fast-tracked for film and television.” said Scout’s President James Haick III.
Scout has had epic growth in just the past two years, optioning properties to Amazon and Freeform among others and quadrupling their sales and market share. The company recently signed with Mosaic for representation in all areas.