Just when you thought you’d seen everything in the way of cashing in on the zombie craze, Lionsgate announced yesterday that it is working on a film based on the highly-emotional and successful trailer for new zombie video game Dead Island. Not a movie based on the Dead Island video game: A feature-length film based on the Dead Island video game trailer.
Here’s what Lionsgate motion picture group president Joe Drake had to say in the official press release:
“Like the trailer that will serve as its primary creative inspiration, the film Dead Island will be an innovation of the zombie genre because of its focus on human emotion, family ties and non-linear storytelling. […] Like the hundreds of journalists and millions of fans who were so passionate and vocal about theDead Island trailer, we too were awestruck. […] 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.”
While a video game trailer might seem a dubious inspiration for a movie, once you watch the trailer you will understand why. It is, in a word, breathtaking. The trailer features a family on vacation when things go horribly wrong. By “horribly wrong”, I mean zombies. The trailer works backwards, showing us a young girl falling out of a window after she and her family have been brutally attacked by zombies. The whole thing is “filmed” in slow motion and reverse, interspersed with real-time footage of the child running down a hallway to escape the monsters. Over the gory action melancholy instrumentals play. Well, just watch the trailer.
Despite the trailer having little in the way of actual game-play footage from Dead Island, it immediately attracted attention. As a video game trailer, it was fairly unique, and the emotions it elicited were certainly enough to catch the eyes of Lionsgate and other filmmakers.
As of yesterday, Lionsgate president Joe Drake has confirmed that the project is moving forward, with Sean Daniel (The Mummy, Tombstone, and Dazed and Confused) as producer. No word yet on who is writing the script, or how closely it will resemble the actual events of the game trailer or the game itself.
Whether or not the film will stand out from the plethora of other zombie projects currently being produced (World War Z, Warm Bodies, Zombieland 2, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the list goes on), one thing is for certain: The Dead Island trailer movie will have the distinct honor of being the only movie ever produced based on a three-minute video game trailer.
Stay informed, stay alive: Dead Island was released in early September from Techland and Deep Silver. You can play this fine zombie video game on Playstation 3, X-Box 360, and PC. The game has received backlash recently resulting from the inclusion of sexist language in the game’s code.
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