Lionsgate announces movie based on (trailer for) Dead Island

Those acclaimed, game-selling backwards-zombies go Hollywood

Canadian-American entertainment conglomerate Lionsgate has confirmed that it, like many others, was impressed with the unforgettable trailer for Deep Silver's Dead Island. The difference between you and Lionsgate, of course, is that you saw the trailer and thought, “I like this so maybe I'll buy the game and play it,” Lionsgate saw the same trailer and said, “we like this so maybe we'll buy the rights and make a big-budget feature film out of it.” So today Joe Drake, president of the company's Motion Pictures division, confirmed it's done exactly that.

Though don’t get cynical when you hear Lionsgate is making a movie based largely on that remarkable trailer for the game. The company says the clip “will serve as [the movie's] primary creative inspiration,” explaining that the movie will innovate on the zombie genre by continuing the trailer's emphasis on “human emotion, family ties and non-linear storytelling.” Drake also praises the title’s “built-in brand recognition around the world and franchise potential” – accomplishments achieved around the time the clip was taking the Golden Lion in Cannes, months before the game's release.

And while the announcement marks another Onion story crossing over into reality, it also makes sense. Dead Island was a fine game (we gave it a 7), but it's the trailer that turned it into a geeky household name. If we're going to have another movie about the human drama of a zombie outbreak (and you can be assured we are, whether or not Dead Island has anything to do with it), it might as well take a few cues from one of the living dead's more notable appearances in recent years.

We're looking forward to see what the film's producers – whose work ranges from cult hits like Dazed and Confused to mainstream fun like The Mummy – do with the property. Aim high, Lionsgate: you've got some stiff competition!


Above: Some stiff competition

Sep 27, 2011

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