Video games and film have had a tepid relationship at best. Movies that make the transition into the world of the interactive are often shoddy, second-rate promotional tie-ins, and games that make the transition to the big screen are almost invariably directionless, bludgeoning action films. Hope for perfect crossover spiked in 2007 when news broke that a feature film adaptation of the popular Xbox franchise, “Halo,” would be produced by Oscar-winning “Lord of the Rings” director, Peter Jackson, and helmed by Neil Blomkamp, now of “District 9” fame. The studios evidently didn’t share the public’s excitement, and put the project on permanent hiatus due to its escalating budget.
So while we may never see Bungie’s flagship shooter franchise in theaters, hope for the elusive competent game to screen adaptation may not be entirely lost. Wyck Godfrey, a producer for the upcoming film based on the Xbox’s other sci-fi shooter, “Gears of War” recently sat down with makingof.com to hash out early details on why his film won’t be another “Super Mario Brothers” or “House of the Dead.”
"The hard part is to make it into something that doesn't feel like a world torn asunder and people just in battle. I think we really want to focus on the idea of a world that's running well and then it’s Emergence Day,” Godfrey said of game’s oft-referenced precursor, during which a subterranean alien menace known as the Locust Horde staged its first strike on the humanoid citizens of the planet Sera.
The script for “Gears of War” is currently being rewritten, and has not yet been given a release window. Len Wiseman, who last directed “Live Free or Die Hard,” has been tapped to direct the film for Legendary Pictures.
But even with a higher-than-usual profile production, there are still plenty of places the “Gears” film could go south, not the least of which is that the game series itself suffers from broad caricatures and cheesy dialogue between its intense action sequences. There's also the matter of Godfrey’s back catalogue of projects, which include “Daddy Daycare,” “Alien vs. Predator,” and the “Twilight” saga. Hmm.
On second thought, video game fans may want to assume the worst.