Prime Universe Films, Inc. was established in 2004 by Adrian Askarieh with a vision to develop and produce high-concept feature films based on branded video game and comic book properties, while also keeping an eye out for fresh, original material that would translate into films with broad international appeal.
Adrian received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from California State University at Long Beach in 1993 and passed the California bar exam in his very first try after graduating from law school in 1997. Prior to forming Prime Universe, Adrian served as an Associate Attorney at Kleinberg & Lerner, LLP, a Los Angeles-based law firm specializing in the area of intellectual property rights that represents personalities and companies involved in the entertainment and multimedia industries. Adrian has represented clients ranging from Sketchers Shoes, top 10 video game companies, independent record labels, celebrated and legendary artists, the late Jack Kirby and Moebius, and top five comic book companies. Adrian left the practice of law in 2002 to focus full time on his passion for producing.
Garnering a reputation as a producer with a keen eye for exciting, potential blockbuster properties, Adrian was instrumental in setting up and producing, along with Chuck Gordon (Field Of Dreams), Eidos Interactive’s multi-million selling video game Hitman at 20th Century Fox in 2005. Opening Thanksgiving weekend 2007, Hitman starred Timothy Olyphant (Live Free or Die Hard, Justified) as the enigmatic Agent 47 and went on to gross $100 million worldwide on a production budget of $26 million. Hitman has scored an additional $81 million in DVD sales. Adrian is currently in production on the Hitman reboot titled Agent 47 starring Rupert Friend (Homeland) as the title character and Zach Quinto (Star Trek Into Darkness). Agent 47 is being eyed for release by Fox and Fox International in 2015.
On the heels of the first Hitman movie, and a full year before the game’s initial release, Adrian set up and is producing Eidos’s best-selling action game franchise Kane & Lynch. The film will star Gerard Butler (Olympus Has Fallen) as “Kane” and is being financed by Avi Lerner’s Nu Image/Millennium Films (The Expendables) and is being released in North America and the UK by Lionsgate.
Adrian is also spearheading the adaptation of one of the most high-profile video game franchises in history into major feature films. Adrian and producer Roy Lee (The Departed, The Lego Movie) have teamed up with CBS Films and writer/director Scott Derrickson (Sinister) to bring the award winning blockbuster Deus Ex: Human Revolution to the big screen.
Keeping a foot solidly planted in the ever-expanding arena of comic-to-TV adaptations, Adrian is developing the best selling HACK/SLASH Image comic book series for Relativity Media's television arm. Skip Woods (Live Free or Die Hard, Swordfish) is writing the script for the pilot to which director Marcus Nispel (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th) is attached as the director.
In March of 2010, Adrian, along with Roy Lee, sold his own original story concept, Leonardo Da Vinci and the Soldiers of Forever, to Warner Brothers. The tale envisions the famous artist and thinker as an “Indiana Jones”-like adventurer who battles supernatural threats from the Bible. Marc Guggenheim (Green Lantern) is writing the script and Warner Brothers is eyeing the project as a major tent-pole release.
Previously, Adrian and producer Dan Lin (The Lego Movie) also sold Warner Bros. on developing the live-action adaptation of the classic Hanna Barbera cartoon Jonny Quest. “Quest” is one of the most beloved entertainment properties in the world with two animated series representing millions in sales on DVD, comic books, toys, and more.
2014 is proving to be a key year for Adrian, along with the production of Agent 47, Adrian and the juggernaut online network, Machinima (www.Machinima.com) teamed up and produced the hit pilot for Enormous. The post-apocalyptic adventure based on the Image Comics graphic novel will now move to a full series to shoot later in 2014 and will signal Adrian’s first foray into the fast growing world of high-end digital content production.