On Sept. 27, Lionsgate Entertainment announced it has optioned film right to Deep Silver’s “Dead Island,” a video game that focuses on a family attacked by zombies. The announcement was made by Lionsgate’s co-COO and Motion Picture Group President Joe Drake.
“Dead Island” is a best-selling video game that first attracted notice for its teaser trailer, which was released in February 2011. That trailer depicted the game’s narrative –a vacationing family are set upon by zombies at their tropical resort – in a non-linear fashion.
See the “Dead Island” trailer.
The “Dead Island” trailer went on to receive more than one million hits in its first 24 hours, and praise from such gaming and entertainment industry insiders as “Wired Magazine,” College Humor and G4TV. The trailer also won Golden Lion in Cannes at the International Festival of Creativity, the advertising industry’s highest honor, and it was featured by Adweek on their annual list of the World’s Best Commercials.
Lionsgate’s movie will follow in the (shuffling) footsteps of the game, focusing on human emotion, family and non-linear storytelling.
“Like the hundreds of journalists and millions of fans who were so passionate and vocal about the Dead Island trailer, we too were awestruck,” said Drake in the Lionsgate press release. “This is exactly the type of property we’re looking to adapt at Lionsgate – it’s sophisticated, edgy, and a true elevation of a genre that we know and love. It also has built in brand recognition around the world, and franchise potential.”
The conceit of Deep Silver’s “Dead Island” centers upon the vacationers reacting to the zombie outbreak in their tropical paradise surroundings. Isolated, the survivors must use the island’s resources to complete various mission and protect themselves from the hordes of undead.
Although in early stages of development, Lionsgate is already has producers attached to “Dead Island.” From the Lionsgate press release:
Sean Daniel (“The Mummy,” “Tombstone,” “Dazed And Confused”) will spearhead production through his Sean Daniel Company. A veteran producer with global franchises under his belt, Daniel is to be joined in producing by Stefan Sonnenfeld, who has been a pioneer in the post production field, using the process as a platform to create a unique visual brand with directors including J.J. Abrams, Michael Bay and Gore Verbinski. Jason Brown of The Sean Daniel Company and Missy Papageorge for Sonnenfeld’s Sunny Field Productions are executive producing, with Sarah Perlman of Sunny Field Productions serving as co-producer.
Alli Shearmur, Lionsgate’s President of Motion Picture Production and Development is overseeing the project at the studio, with Jim Miller, SVP of Production and Development. Rob McEntegart, Senior EVP of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, negotiated the deal with Deep Silver’s U.S. attorney Ed Labowitz.
When the film is released, Pittsburgh movie-goers can expect to see “World War Z” screen at the AMC Loews Waterfront 22, purchasing tickets online at Fandango, as well as show at SouthSide Works Cinema and Waterworks Cinema 10.
In the meantime, Pittsburgh zombie fans might want to visit the Monroeville Mall, featured in George Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” and current home to the Monroeville Zombies museum, gallery and store.
Pittsburgh Movie Examiner: Facebook • Twitter