Ed King has launched a new Soho based production company, Starchild Pictures Ltd, which will specialise in genre projects.

The former head of development at Elton John’s Rocket Pictures has joined forces with Martin Gentles, previously of Propaganda Films and Alan Parker’s Dirty Hands Productions, to launch the company, which is being backed by a single investor from outside the film industry and will focus on genre features through its development fund.

The pair, who met in 1996 when they were both runners at a TV production company, already have a number of projects in development, including Rob Green’s sci-fi thriller Futures and Irish crime thriller The Hill, which is being written by Toby Venables.

Also in development is sci-fi comedy Remote Control by Will Clark and John Pape (Clark is also attached to direct), teen coming-of-age movie Ska Wars written by Geoff Deane, horror movie Howl by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler and an untitled project by Mark Burton.

King, who oversaw the development of Rocket’s forthcoming Disney release Gnomeo & Juliet as well as producing Hattie Dalton’s short One of Those Days, hopes that Starchild Pictures will become a “hub for British genre talent.”

“The basic philosophy of the company is that we want to make the kinds of films that we both love to watch at the cinema. That means sci-fi movies, horror movies, comedies, and thrillers. Basically films that we know people will want to see,” he added.

Gentles, who has worked in production on features, commercials, music videos and television, said: ‘We have the resources to develop top quality work with the industry’s most exciting talent, and hopefully, realise Starchild Pictures’ potential.”