American McGee, head of Alice: Madness Returns developer Spicy Horse, wants to secure the film rights to the Alice series and is tying that $500,000 fundraising effort into the current OZombie Kickstarter campaign, according to an update on the game's Kickstarter blog.
Spicy Horse entered into an agreement with Collision Entertainment, which controls the film rights to the Alice series. Although the deal is recent, the companies may have been in contact for years. IGN reported in 2007 that the companies were working on a film based on American McGee's Alice with Sarah Michelle Geller to play the lead.
The new deal totals $500,000 in payments from Spicy Horse to Collision. The first payment of $100,000 would "secure the option" to the rights and would also allow the developer to produce animated shorts. After paying a total of $500,000 in annual installments of $100,000, Spicy Horse would own the "license outright and be able to make a feature."
The developer is now using any additional funds received for its recently launched Kickstarter for OZombie to secure the Alice film rights.
"We're going to link the Alice film rights to the OZombie campaign in hopes that doing so will increase awareness about OZombie and put us in a position to secure and develop the Alice property as animated shorts and eventually feature film(s)," the blog post reads. "This doesn't mean Spicy Horse is trying to "get into the film business." We're simply interested in capturing control of the film rights so that we can work with experienced animation studios, writers, producers and directors to see some great content made. OZombie is what Spicy Horse Games will be working on for the next year while the "Otherlands" films are in production."
As of this writing, the Kickstarter campaign has secured $123,697 in pledges of its $950,000 from 2,218 backers with 33 days remaining. The first $100,000 raised beyond the $950,000 goal would be earmarked toward securing the option to buy the rights. Additional funds would be used to produce animated features, "unless we raise enough to buy the license outright and then go forward with film creation," the post reads.
For more the action-adventure game OZombie that might also fund the Alice film rights, be sure to check out Polygon's recent interview with McGee.