Marc Toberoff's IntellectualProperties Worldwide (IPW) has picked up the motion picture rights to GrooThe Wanderer, the long-running comicbook that has been described as Conan The Barbarian meets Shrek.
Created by Sergio Aragoneswith writer Mark Evanier, Groowas first published in 1983 and has spawned more than 170 instalments. Thetitular hero fuses an uncanny warrior mentality with charming naivete and amarked lack of intelligence.
Aragones and Evanier willwrite a screenplay as part of the deal and will also serve as executiveproducers. Toberoff and IPW head of production J Todd Harris will produce.
Bay Area producer JeffreyAllard, the president of Indie Entertainment who also served as executiveproducer on the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, serves as executive producer.
"I've known Mark Evanier andhave been a fan of Sergio for many years," Toberoff said in a statement.
"For me, Groo is one of thefew remaining crown jewels of the comic world. Imagine crossing ArnoldSchwarzenegger with Peter Sellers and voila - Groo."
Toberoff recently foundedIPW to focus on acquiring rights to branded properties for exploitation infilm, television and merchandising.
The Los Angeles-basedcompany recently set up My Bodyguard at Dimension Films and has projects in development including TheImmortals at Paramount and FantasyIsland at Sony.
Other properties in variousstages of development include Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Guys And Dolls,Grand Hotel, Rififi, Little Caesar, Asphalt Jungle, Sanford & Son, Hart ToHart, Ironside, Police Woman, and Piranha.