Movies based on games suck, games based on movies suck; You’ve heard and experienced it all before. That doesn’t mean we can’t be excited at the potential of that changing. From what almost became the Halo movie from Peter Jackson and Neill Blomkamp (District 9) to the more recent news of the Ubisoft forming a studio to launch film franchises for Assassin’s Creed, Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell, one day soon we will get the quintessential video game adaptation.
Unfortunately for fans of Epic Games‘ Gears of War franchise, it won’t be the COG forces hitting the silver screen anytime soon…
The first Gears of War debuted in 2006 to overwhelmingly positive reviews and along with easily earning itself a pair of sequels, books and merchandise. It even garnered the interest of Hollywood to the point where Lionsgate was in talks to potentially purchase Epic Games back in 2008.
Len Wiseman (Underworld) and Chris Morgan (Wanted) were set to write the Gears of War screenplay back then, but in 2009, we found out Billy Ray (State of Play) would instead be writing the script for New Line.
Hope was starting to diminish with talk of the film following more of its sci-fi roots and later, with producer Wyck Godfrey revealing that the Gears of War film wouldn’t follow the story of the games, but instead would follow the origins of the Locusts (the game’s antagonist army).
After another year of the the project not moving forward, New Line reportedly cut the budget for Gears of War and Wiseman, who was attached to direct but admittedly knew little of video games, left the project. So where does that leave us? With Cliff Bleszinski not sounding optimistic about it at E3 last week. Game Front asked him if there was any update on the project, to which he replied it’s in a state of limbo.
“It’s in development hell right now. Who knows what’ll happen. It took however many years for Peter Jackson to make Lord of the Rings. Hollywood is a complicated beast. There’s all sorts of weirdness going on with who’s working on it, what’s going on here and there. But, hopefully it happens. Maybe the Gears 3 success will generate more interest in it. I’d love to see it. I’d rather have a movie that’s great and true to the franchise, than a movie that sucks. I’d rather not have a movie, than a movie that sucks.”
Preferring no movie over a bad movie takes the words right out of my mouth. In recent years, many game developers/publishers are hesitant to let their properties get the Hollywood treatment considering the outcomes so many of them face. We saw it with Metal Gears Solid stopping before it started and we heard it from Valve who refuse to let their franchises be treated to a poor adaptation. We may have just witnessed it again with the Uncharted film with David O. Russell mysteriously parting ways with the project after highly negative feedback to his plans for the adaptation.
Gears of War 3 blew us away at E3 last week, to the point of earning nominations for Best Shooter, Best Multiplayer and Best in Show for our Game Rant E3 2011 Awards. It should see greater success than both its predecessors and perhaps that buzz will propel its film adaptation forward.
The question then becomes; do you want a film based on the first game, or a prequel of sorts focusing on the Locust origins and Emergence Day?
Source: Game Front
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Header image edited from art by whitysb.