It looks like Relativity Digital Studios has found their first big YouTube project, and it’s going to involve a lot of familiar faces. Relativity’s newly minted digital studio will produce a film by YouTuber Joe Nation based on his web series “YouTube Assassin.” You can check out the first episode of the original web series below. The film, reimagined as “Bob Thunder: Internet Assassin,” will be directed by Joe Nation. YouTubers Shane Dawson, Olga Kay and Chester See all signed on to star, along with cameos by reality star Janice Dickinson and UFC fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
The film is a comedic action-parody following the exploits of an assassin hired to eliminate YouTubers and replace them with branded robots. The plot is a timely commentary on the increasing role of corporate sponsorship on YouTube. The movie will a co-production between Relativity Media and the internet-based TV service FilmOn. Given that FilmOn is likely to be affected by the recent Supreme Court ruling against fellow web-TV provider Aereo, it seems that the company is now focusing on developing its own original content.
The film industry is increasingly recognizing the value of YouTube creators. Web stars bring not only their natural talent to the table, but a dedicated following that can number in the millions. The combined draw of Shane Dawson, Olga Kay, Chester See and creator Joe Nation gives the film a built in audience already familiar with its source material and comedic style. As the digital film and television industry struggles to find its footing, native YouTube stars can be valuable assets not only creatively but also financially.
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