Ashok Amritraj's Hyde Park Entertainment Group and LA-based comic book company Platinum Studios have teamed up to co-produce Dead Of Night, a film of best-selling Italian comic book series Dylan Dog.

Brandon Routh, who played Superman and Clark Kent in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, will play Dylan, a private investigator drawn into the world of the undead. Kevin Munroe, who directed last year's TMNT, will direct a script by Joshua Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly, the writing team behind Sahara and the upcoming Conan The Barbarian.

Hyde Park chairman and CEO Amritraj will produce alongside Platinum chairman and CEO Scott Mitchell Rosenberg. Platinum's Rich Marincic will co-produce and Hyde Park's Patrick Aiello will executive produce.

Former Universal Pictures marketing executive Randy Greenberg of The Greenberg Group, who helped negotiate the deal with Platinum general counsel Helene Pretsky, will also executive produce. SAF Comics president Ervin Rustemagic will also co-produce.

Dylan Dog was created by Tiziano Sclavi and since it was first published by Sergio Bonelli Editore, the series has sold more than 56m units and been translated into 17 languages.

Platinum and Hyde Park have hired Al Ovadia & Associates as worldwide agent for merchandising the film and the comic book property. Ovadia, former head of consumer products at both SPE and Fox, has managed merchandising programmes including The Simpsons and the first two Spider-man films.

Hyde Park is currently in production on Street Fighter which is being directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak and produced under the company's first-look deal with Fox. In post-production is The Dark Country, Thomas Jane's directorial debut for Sony's Stage 6 label which will be released in 3D, and romantic comedy The Other End Of The Line starring Jesse Metcalfe which MGM will handle domestically.

Platinum, run by Rosenberg who brought the Men In Black property to Sony Pictures, has various properties in development including Atlantis Rising at DreamWorks, Cowboys And Aliens at DreamWorks and Universal and Unique at Walt Disney Pictures. The company controls an international library of over 5,600 comic book characters from around the world.

'I am thrilled to have a chance to start a relationship with Hyde Park and to renew one with Scott Rosenberg that dates back to the hugely successful Men In Black,' said Ovadia in a statement. 'With only limited previous licensing over Dylan Dog's twenty plus year life, and a fan base in the millions, we are hopeful that classic Dylan Dog and the feature Dead of Night will be big hits, in Italy and around the world'.