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Wednesday, March 21, 2007
"Gears of War" Game Turning to Film


New Line Cinema has acquired the film rights to the hit video game "Gears of War," which overtook "Halo 2" to become the most popular title on the Xbox Live service following its release last November.

Set on the planet Sera, the game thrusts players into a battle for survival between humans and a race of creatures that surface from the bowels of the planet known as the Locust Horde. Players assume identities of soldiers on Delta Squad as they fight to save the Sera's inhabitants.

The game, developed by Epic Games, sold more than 3 million units worldwide in its first 10 weeks. It also has received numerous awards, including Gamespot's Game of the Year and the Interactive Achievement Awards' Overall Game of the Year.

Cliff Bleszinski, lead game designer for "Gears," worked with screenwriter Stuart Beattie to define a treatment, with the aim of crafting a movie that will appeal to the game's fans and moviegoers.

While the track record for video adaptations is decidedly mixed, producer Marty Bowen is hoping this one will be different.

"We're not going to do a to a lowest-common-denominator movie," said Bowen, who is partnered on the project with Wyck Godfrey. "We're going to attempt to elevate it. And we're starting off by having an A-list writer doing it."

Beattie first got involved one night while playing the game live. He believes that if you tell a good story, audiences will respond, and he thinks the game's setting and scope will help in that respect.


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