LIONSGATE®, a leading global entertainment company, announced today that YouTube star “Fred Figglehorn,” the internet sensation created by teen actor Lucas Cruikshank, is returning to the screen in the 3D feature film NIGHT OF THE LIVING FRED, the follow-up to the 2010 feature film FRED: THE MOVIE which debuted on Nickelodeon on September 18, 2010 to record ratings. The film is a co-production from Lionsgate, Varsity Pictures and The Collective (where Cruikshank is also represented). Brian Robbins and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett of Varsity Pictures and Gary Binkow and Evan Weiss of The Collective are producing the film. Michael Green, CEO of The Collective, will executive produce.
Lionsgate has North American distribution rights and is also selling international rights to the film. Production is currently underway in Los Angeles with John Fortenberry (BLUE MOUNTAIN STATE) directing from a script by David A. Goodman (FAMILY GUY).
“Fred’s journey from internet character to media star has been nothing short of astounding, and we’re excited to partner with Lionsgate to bring the second feature film based on Fred’s hilarious adventures to life,” said producer Robbins.
“We’re always excited to partner with talent who has a direct relationship with a broad online fan base, because there are so many possibilities for engaging that audience throughout the filmmaking and marketing process. Lucas is a true next generation entertainer, and we are so proud to bring Fred, the unique character he created, to his fans in 3D,” said Lionsgate’s President of Motion Picture Development and Production Michael Paseornek. “Fred has already conquered the online world and achieved record ratings for Nickelodeon, and we believe he’s ready for his feature film debut.”
“We are always looking for ways to help creative, entrepreneurial talent like Lucas reach new audiences and extend their brands across new platforms,” Michael Green said. “NIGHT OF THE LIVING FRED is sure to prove to the vast fan base that Lucas has already established on the Web and on television that he has even bigger plans in store for them in the future.”
The project has benefited from synergy between Lionsgate’s television and motion picture businesses. Varsity Pictures’ Brian Robbins produces BLUE MOUNTAIN STATE for Lionsgate Television, currently in its second season on Spike, leading to Fortenberry’s selection as the right choice to direct FRED.
In a similar manner to the Company’s recently announced microbudget initiative, the film will adhere to Lionsgate’s focus on films whose quality is driven more by concept and execution than budget and will remain true to Fred’s roots as a internet phenomenon.
Cruikshank is reprising his starring role as fast-talking, hyperactive kid “Fred Figglehorn,” the character who stars in his popular YouTube videos which collectively have been viewed more 700 million times. Cruikshank’s “Fred” channel has over two million subscribers, putting it in the top five most-subscribed YouTube channels ever. Among his other projects, Cruikshank will also star in a half-hour series at Nickelodeon, “Marvin Marvin,” produced by The Collective and written by Jon Ross (FATHER OF THE PRIDE).