Thomas Hopkins and producingpartner Tony Dunoyer have formed New York and Los Angeles-based production and developmentcompany Griot Pictures Entertainment (GPE) and haveannounced their first two projects.

Period drama Chevalier takes place inpre-Revolutionary France and charts the real-life exploits of fencing and musical maestroChevalier de Saint George, who became a hero during the Revolution. Paris Qualles wrote the screenplay.

Hopkins is writing the screenplay for Minion, based on the first two novels from LA Banks'vampire-huntress series, Minion and The Awakening. The plot centres on anaspiring diva who happens to have a higher calling asa killer.

GPE, which plans toco-produce and co-finance studio and independent film and television projects,is also developing The Peculiar Patriot

The Peculiar Patriot is a docu-drama styled as part-Whoopi Goldberg-style one-woman show and part-Fahrenheit 9/11.

"We believe Chevalier and Minion will strongly advance two classic genres still very popularwith global audiences - the period-adventure drama and the vampire/demon-slayerhorror film," Hopkins said.

GPE co-produced the romance Premium with Double 7 Film andPalm-Star. The film premiered last March at the Miami International FilmFestival.