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Reliance Big, Tom Hanks in new entertainment venture

Reliance Big, Tom Hanks in new entertainment venture

Mumbai, Oct 1, Anil Ambani Group’s Reliance Big Entertainment Friday said it has forged a joint venture with the production company of Hollywood actor-director Tom Hanks to produce “Electric City” as an animated internet series and online game.

Conceived and written by Hanks, “Electric City” promises a breathtaking view of the future of humankind, presented through the lens of themes such as energy consumption, freedom of information, crime and punishment, the two firms said.

With this broad theme, the new production will also be an internet serial and a mobile game, since the story lends itself perfectly to a multi-player browser game application for social networking sites and mobile devices, they added.

Zapak, the gaming arm of Reliance Big Entertainment, will spearhead and manage the project, which will look for strategic partnerships with leading companies for video distribution, social gaming and mobile applications.

“Reliance’s strength in entertainment, Zapak’s expertise in the digital world and Playtone’s demonstrated creative and production acumen will create an exciting, magical experience,” said Amitabh Jhunjhunwala of the Anil Ambani group.

“We’re excited by the challenge of making content for new distribution platforms and interactive formats,” added Gary Goetzman, producer and the partner of Hanks at Playtone.

Some of its projects include “Where the Wild Things Are”, “Mamma Mia!”, “The Polar Express” and “Big Love”. Playtone has also completed the Hanks-directed romantic comedy “Larry Crowne” with Julia Roberts and the director in lead roles.

This deal with Playtone is another major project for Reliance Big in Hollywood like the one with Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider for the formation of DreamWorks Studios.

Reliance Big also has development deals with the firms of Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts.

Zapak, on the other hand, is a leader in India’s digital gaming space with over seven million registered gamers. It also owns the largest chain of dedicated gaming cafes in the country — 100 of them in more than 40 cities.

It works closely with most of the leading global gaming and entertainment players such as Universal Studios, Microsoft, Valve, Popcap, Boonty, Payfirst, Disney, Universal Studios, Shanda, Jagex, Cartoon Network and iPlay.

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