In what is almost certainly the most unsurprising movie announcement since news broke of a sequel to The Lego Movie, The Tracking Board is reporting that a film adaptation of the video game Plants vs. Zombies is officially being developed. In fact, the news is so unsurprising that observers would be forgiven for thinking that this was actually already happening – which, in itself, is demonstration of the fact that this was both a foregone conclusion, and the kind of cash-in that Hollywood is famous for.
Plants vs. Zombies was launched in 2009 by PopCap Games and rounded out that year with a clutch of awards nominations and a spot on Gamezebo’s games of the year list. It falls in the ‘tower defense’ subgenre of video games, which means a featured goal is to prevent enemies from reaching a particular point by way of ambush from an elevated position, constructed by the player. The narrative of Plants s. Zombies has a homeowner needing to use a range of vegetation to halt an advancing, relentless horde of the undead, who are trying to get inside a residence and consume the homeowner’s brain. It remains PopCap’s fastest-selling video game to date.
The popularity of Plants vs. Zombies is significant and far-reaching. References to the game appear in World Of Warcraft, as well as Zen Pinball 2 and Pinball FX2. It even spawned a short-lived board game. Successful tie-in merchandise is wide-ranging, and includes clothes, accessories, toys, books, and even branded Xbox controller jackets. This pervasive cultural influence is why a movie adaptation has always seemed inevitable. It is Warner Bros. that has finally seized upon the opportunity, however, with The Lego Movie producer, Roy Lee, bringing his considerable talent and expertise to bear upon the project.
Plants vs. Zombies joins a growing slate of developing film adaptations of popular video games – including Five Nights At Freddy’s, Minecraft, and Duncan Jones’ Warcraft movie. While it has yet to be confirmed whether Plants vs. Zombies will be entirely animated, or will feature a combination of animation and live-action, what is clear is that whichever screenwriters ultimately win the job, their task will be to essentially deliver something that is a Day Of The Triffids/The Walking Dead mash-up. For kids.
Source: The Tracking Board