MastersFX Creature Shop Strikes Deal With Arcana Entertainment to Produce Genre Films Based on Arcana’s Characters (Exclusive)

Canada-based Arcana owns more than 5,000 characters “that transcend gender, age and cultural and geographic boundaries,” the company says

Todd Masters
Mastersfx chief Todd Masters with "Corrective Measures" characters/ Mastersfx & Arcana Entertainment

MastersFX creature shop and Arcana, a comic and graphic novels publisher as well as an animation and live action studio, have signed a new multipicture deal to create and produce genre feature films based on Arcana’s vast library of characters and IP, the companies announced on Monday.

Currently Arcana and MastersFX are in development on “American Wasteland,” the second of their planned joint venture films and based on an Arcana graphic novel property, the companies revealed to TheWrap via email.

“American Wasteland” tells the story of truck driver Cletus McCoy trying to save his mother from a vampire apocalypse. “Cletus will have to truck his way through an emerging nation of bloodthirsty monsters hell-bent on making him supper. Guns, guts, and a boy named Sumbitch are our hero’s only hope,” reads an Arcana plot description.

“American Wasteland” cover image/Mastersfx & Arcana Entertainment

The Canadian company’s first project resulting from the deal, the “Corrective Measures,” premieres on Tubi on April 29. That film, which stars Bruce Willis as “The Lobe,” is set in San Tiburon, a maximum security prison housing “the world’s most treacherous superpowered criminals,” according to a statement. The film — one of the last movies made by Willis before announcing his decision to retire from acting after a diagnosis of aphasia — was directed and produced by Arcana founder Sean Patrick O’Reilly (“Howard Lovecraft,” “The Kingdom of Madness”) and co-stars Michael Rooker (“The Walking Dead,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”). “Corrective Measures” represents Arcana’s first live action feature film.

Todd Masters, Emmy-winning ‘president & mastermind” of MastersFX, said in a statement, “To realize our shared vision of producing efficient genre themed entertainment, Arcana and MastersFX have entered into a new, multi-picture alliance, by which we will jointly produce genre live action content. Sean and I share a collective way of thinking and working, which worked out great on Corrective Measures. Having experience with so many different production teams over our years, we’ve honed shortcuts to things that often take weeks on other productions. That allows us to get more of the budget onto the screen.”

Said O’Reilly in the statement, “Todd and his team have tons of experience in the genre arena, and they really help us stick to our philosophy of ‘Farm to Fork’ by keeping our live-action produced content within reasonable budgets. “I cannot think of better partners than Todd Masters and his team at MastersFX for our expansion into live action production.”

(L) Brad Proctor as”The Flu” in Corrective Measures (R) Sean Patrick O’Reilly/Mastersfx & Arcana Entertainment

MastersFX has been producing practical and digital makeup FX, prosthetics and animatronics since 1987 for TV shows including “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Good Doctor,” “This Is Us,” “The Umbrella Academy” and many others. A sampling of the company many films includes “Sonic the Hedgehog,” “Star Trek: First Contact,” “The Horse Whisperer” and “Snakes on a A Plane.”

Arcana, based in Burnaby, British Columbia, was formed in 2014 when O’Reilly first wrote and published the comic book series “Kade” with artists Eduardo Garcia as illustrator and Diamond Comics as the distributor. In 2006, Arcana acquired, building one of the largest sites for for comics, graphic novels and characters, and in 2012 opened an animation division for all platforms.