The 'Dead Island' Movie Rights Situation

Dead Island

Undoubtedly the most buzzed about video game news from last week was the reveal of Dead Island trailer. Yes, it's yet another zombie game in an overcrowded genre, but this trailer was different. It had an emotional and cinematic quality unlike most other game trailers and watching it, forces you into silence and concentration.

It was disturbing, but that was its selling point. In today's society, a buzz-worthy video game, comic book or even an idea brings with it interest from Hollywood so to no surprise, within a day news broke that Dead Island's film rights had already been sold. Great, another video game to become a crappy movie, right? Wrong. At least for now.

The Wrap first reported the exclusive that producer Sean Daniel and Union Entertainment had been "sitting" on the films rights to Dead Island since 2009:

Daniel's Sean Daniel Company, along with Union Entertainment President Richard Leibowitz and producer Dmitri Johnson, have been tracking the game's development for several years, and acquired rights to it in 2009, TheWrap has learned.

We can confirm, thanks to an email from Deep Silver, that is factually incorrect. Sean Daniel and Union Entertainment do not own the film rights to Dead Island. In fact, no one does. Here's the official word from Deep Silver on the matter:

Since video games publisher Deep Silver revealed the upcoming game Dead Islandâ„¢ this week, its accompanying promotional trailer has created a tremendous amount of buzz in the internet community and has been hailed a “Must See” throughout.

As a result, Deep Silver has received a massive amount of interest in the film adaptation rights to the Dead Island IP. Contrary to rumors that have been circulating, neither the film rights nor any other licenses have yet been sold by Deep Silver, which is the sole IP holder of the Dead Island brand.

While no decision has been made yet regarding Dead Island's movie rights, Deep Silver is currently looking through a vast amount of inquiries.  Key for the decision is a focus on the quality of the resulting motion picture: “We are looking for quality above all else for a movie based on Dead Island. We want to do it the right way as film realizations of games (or vice versa) usually fail to deliver what the fans were looking for. We will not go down this route with Dead Island. Deep Silver profoundly believes in the quality and value of its Dead Island IP,” says Klemens Kundratitz, CEO of Deep Silver's parent company Koch Media. “We would therefore be honored to work with someone who already has a proven track record with blockbuster movies.”

It's just a matter of time before Dead Island is optioned out. While The Walking Dead TV series has been a hit, a tribute to paying respect to the source material, the video game and zombie film genres are still coming out with more bad product than good.

Do we really need a Dead Island movie? Should they maybe wait until after the game comes out before even considering it? All we have so far outside of the trailer, are these Dead Island screens.

Dead Island is scheduled to release later this year for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

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