People have been talking about a possible Dead Space movie for a long time now, and lord knows there’s enough material there to make several flicks. The good news is it seems as if one is officially on its way.
According to Variety, Electronic Arts is breathing new life into plans to adapt its sci-fi horror videogame Dead Space into a potential film franchise.
Justin Marks helped develop the story for the film that Neal Moritz will co-produce. The producer had been attached to Dead Space for more than three years, from when DJ Caruso was eyeing the project as a directing vehicle.
EA and Marks discussed development on Dead Space during a panel discussion on videogame adaptations at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday.
“We decided we have to pitch the projects as scripts,” O’Brien said. “EA was batting 0 for 5 before we began funding scripts. We’ve had our knocks in the studio system,” with the executive saying he’s learned from the experience in trying to get The Sims, Spore, Mass Effect, Army of Two and Dante’s Inferno made into movies.
After DreamWorks picked up Need for Speed, it spent another six months developing the script with the company. “They made it a hell of a lot better,” O’Brien said.
But companies like EA have to know what kind of film they want to make when approaching studios. “You don’t want to go in with just an idea and be one of 200 projects. We decided we have to change the model and go in with a script.”
O’Brien realizes EA still won’t be able to control fully how adaptations of its games wind up on screen unless it chooses to replicate Marvel Studios old model and fully finance its films. Instead, it’s opting to partner with filmmakers and studios that have the same vision.
“You can’t control every aspect unless you put up the entire budget,” said O’Brien, who aims to set up Dead Space at a studio once the final version of the script is completed.
The first Dead Space game was released in 2008, with sequels bowing in 2011 and 2013. Games follow engineer Isaac Clarke who battles reanimated human corpses on board a mining spacecraft. Property has spawned a direct-to-homevideo anime film and novels, as well as consumer products line of merchandise.
During the Comic-Con panel Marks cautioned that the adaptation shouldn’t faithfully replicate the action in the game on the bigscreen.
“You would be making ‘Event Horizon’ or ‘Alien,’” he said. “I’ve already seen that movie.” Instead, the challenge is to tell the main character’s story in a way “that’s new and intriguing.”
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