As part of a Gears of War 4 livestream, Universal Pictures today announced its acquisition of the film rights to the Gears of War video game franchise.
Today, Universal Pictures announced it has optioned the film rights to the popular Gears of War video game franchise. The Coalition Studio Head Rod Fergusson, who was also a member of the Gears team at Epic Games, made the announcement as part of a Gears of War 4 livestream meant to hype up the release of the Xbox One’s big fall exclusive.
As of right now details are slim regarding the Gears of War movie, but we know that Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark are producing through Universal’s Bluegrass films production company. Neither producer has experience bringing video game movies to life, but they do know the world of action and comedy. Stuber helped produce the Ted films and Clark has worked on the Planet of the Apes franchise.
Some may remember that New Line Cinema acquired the Gears of War film rights back in 2007, but after doing so not much became of the project. There was a treatment and some producers in place, but as with many video game film projects, the big push needed to get Gears of War off the ground never came.
Presumably this new partnership with Universal will help finally bring Gears of War to the big screen. It’s hard to deny that Gears does not have that action movie feel and it should translate well to the cinematic world.
That being said, a Gears of War movie would also require a large budget in order to do the themes, characters, and world justice. It, like Warcraft, is not a product that can simply jump from one medium to the next with little resistance. Whereas a film like Assassin’s Creed can get away with minimal CGI and practical sets and stunts, Gears of War is built around the concept of humans fighting monsters, and those monsters need to look convincing.
On a more concrete level, the Gears of War filmmakers will need to decide how best to approach the material – either to adapt one of the games whole cloth or to try to chart a new path. Assassin’s Creed, for example, chose to use the same concepts and universe, but to tell its own story with its own characters. A similar approach was said to be going into the Halo movie before it was canned, and likely played a part in the fans’ general disinterest.
What hallmarks are essential to the Gears of War package? Can a Gears of War film exist without Marcus Fenix? Can a Gears of War film work without The Locust. These are some of the questions the filmmakers will have to tackle and those answers will likely determine how interested fans will be in the film.
And that’s not even taking into consideration a potential rating for the film, which will be a huge sticking point in order to preserve the tone. Can a Gears of War film even be called a Gears of War film if someone doesn’t use a Lancer to chainsaw a Locust in half? These are the types of considerations the filmmakers will have to make, but for now the focus is on getting yet another video game movie off the ground.