Zombies are everywhere these days – on the small screen with AMC’s The Walking Dead and Syfy’s upcoming Z Nation, on the big screen with World War Z and Warm Bodies, and especially in video games. Now, we’re hearing that fans of one of those video games, Deep Silver’s Dead Island, are in luck, as a film adaptation is back on track.
Occupant Entertainment and Deep Silver have agreed to package, produce and finance a new movie franchise based on the video game series, rescuing the project from development limbo. Lionsgate previously bought the rights in 2011, but Alli Shearmur’s departure from the studio left this and other projects in the lurch. Now that rights have reverted to Deep Silver, fans of the video game may well finally see an accompanying big screen version.
The delay for the Dead Island adaptation means that the studios now have two games to mine for material instead of just one – the tongue-in-cheek sequel hits shelves next spring. Currently, the studios are “hunting for a director with an innovative take based on either the first game or its sequel, or something in between,” according to Deadline (the first game was notably more serious than the second).
In an official statement, Occupant partners Joe Neurauter and Felipe Marino said:
“Deep Silver has created a highly successful game franchise based on very cinematic, widely viewed and well received trailers, which provide a great template for launching a film franchise with a distinctive and commercial take on the zombie apocalypse. We want to find the right filmmaker and present somewhat of an open canvas, to make something distinct and original that also appeals to and expands the core audience.”
An early 2015 start is in the cards provided such a director can be locked down, and the studio reportedly wants to launch the title at either Berlin or Cannes. Check out the Dead Island video game trailers below, and let us know whether you’d rather see a full-blooded zombie pic (like the first game), or a more lighthearted one (like its sequel).