Rebellion, owners of 2000AD, recently announced its first in-house projects that will use the company’s new studio space near Oxford. Post-apocalyptic thriller School’s Out Forever will be shot there and on location, followed by several projects based on Rebellion’s comic book and publishing shared worlds, including, as previously reported, the new Judge Dredd Mega-City One project and Duncan Jones’ Rogue Trooper film, announced last year.
School’s Out Forever, which takes its title from a collection of tales, is based on novels from Rebellion’s Afterblight Chronicles project, a shared world that features contributions from various authors and hails from Rebellion’s Abaddon Books imprint.
Scott K. Andrews stories follow a group of characters from a public school as they struggle to survive after a plague wipes out most of mankind – defending themselves against cannibalistic gangs, religious fanatics, a bullying prefect with a taste for crucifixion, and even the remnants of the US Army.
The collection, School’s Out Forever collects all three novels, the short story The Man Who Would Not Be King, as well as interviews, the original School’s Out pitch, and its original, unpublished prologue.
“It’s a great hook – what happens if the world is ending and your only option is to go back to school,” Ben Smith, Rebellion’s head of film, TV and publishing, told Variety last week.
“The film is the first part of our wider move into physical production and a significant first building block.”
Now in pre-production, the film, which has a £1 million-plus budget, will shoot this summer, helmed by writer-producer-director duo Emma Biggins, a production manager on films including Slaughterhouse Rulez, and Oliver Milburn, who was behind the 2016 short Dunroamin.
This is just the first of many film and TV projects being planned, Rebellion making the most of both 2000AD characters, the Fleetway and IPC Youth Group archive characters and stories it now owns, and, presumably some of its video game properties, which include Sniper Elite, which made for a great comic series last year.
A release date for School’s Out Forever has yet to be announced but is expected to be later this year. “The idea is we’ll make it and then take it to market and look for the right distributors and platforms for it to go out on, and to get as wide a release as we can for it,” Smith told Variety. “This is the first in a slate of shared world [film and TV] projects we’re going to make ourselves.”