Eagle Eye director D.J Caruso is set to helm a movie version of the game "Dead Space," a film that will be produced by Electronic Arts and Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey of Temple Hill. Not for nothing, Caruso is said to also be working on an adaptation the game "Defender." Right now, "Dead Space" is looking at prospective screenwriters. Once EA has a set "creative direction," they will begin to selling it to studios. Variety thinks that the auctioning will happen in early September.
"Dead Space" is set in the 26th century in space. It's about an engineer who answers a distress call from a ship only to find on board monstrous creatures born from human corpses called Necromorphs. EA is also working on two sequels for the game launched in 2008.
The eerie video-game is one of many titles that are soon to get a cinematic adaptation. "Dante's Inferno," a game that journeys through hell (obviously), was just won by Universal in an auction that featured four studios. That film will be produced by Eric Newman and Marc Abraham of Strike Entertainment.
Here's a list of other video game titles with feature film versions in the works:
"The Sims" - an adaptation of the life-controlling computer game is being produced by John Davis.
"Mass Effect" - the sci-fi adventure game is set to be produced by Spider-Man producer Avi Arad. (According to IMDB.com, Arad also has many other video game adaptations up his sleeve - "Everquest," and "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.")
"Army of Two" - Universal and EA are working together on this project with Scott Stuber producing a script by Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum).
"Gears of War" - Bowen and Godfrey of Temple Hill are producing this live action adaptation of the game from Microsoft and Epic Games. Len Wiseman is attached to direct a script from writer Chris Morgan, the project is for New Line.
"inFAMOUS" - This project just signed writer Sheldon Turner to a seven-figure deal to pen a script that adapts the new video game for a feature to be made by Sony Pictures. Avi and Ari Arad will produce.
"World of Warcraft" - The MMORPG is being brought to life by Drag Me to Hell director Sam Raimi. He's going to work on it after Spider-Man 4. I wrote it about recently here.
There are a few other titles that are due out, including an "Asteroids" game, but I can't handle it. This is a bit depressing to me, not because I'm not a big fan of video games, but because the next few years of mainstream movies are already sounding a bit silly. The past has not been kind to us when we try to recollect video game movies that were might have actually been "good." In the case of Street Fighter, the two Tomb Raider movies, Alone in the Dark, House of the Dead, Doom, Resident Evil, Double Dragon, Hitman and more, the weak very much outweighs the watchable. And no, I didn't have to pick on just Uwe Boll or Paul W.S Anderson to make that list (though they are high offenders).
Yes, yes, there's still a chance of some decent entertainment coming out of this. With bigger budgets and better directors some of these games could start to pave a way for video games to be taken serious by mainstream audiences and critics alike. I do believe there will be a day, some day, when Oscars will start to acknowledge the existence of video games, but it's a real question of whether that will happen with projects like "Asteroids" leading the way.
Argh, I just remembered that Ridley Scott is working on a "Monopoly" movie, and that Pirates of the Carribbean trilogy director Gore Verbinski is working on a "Clue" movie. When are they going to make a movie about hide and seek? Wait. Don't answer that question.
What do you think? Are you excited about any of these titles? Do you particularly enjoy watching your favorite video games and characters being recreated for wider audiences? And if Uwe Boll is reading this, which one of these projects are you going to completely strip of its possibility of being watchable?