Gears of War, the video game series combined our two favorite things in the world, chainsaws and chest-high walls, is finally coming to the big screen. And this time they really mean it, apparently.
Universal Pictures has tapped Shane Salerno to write the adaptation of the blockbuster video game franchise, which takes place in a future world where an alien species called “Locusts” has devastated the world and a small band of hardasses is humanity’s last hope for survival. It’s a derivative storyline but the gameplay was intense and that’s the most important thing. Gears of War, the video game series, kicks ass.
But gameplay doesn’t translate to the big screen. You have to tell a great story, and Hollywood’s been struggling to adapt Gears of War for a decade now. The film was originally set in motion at New Line back in 2007, and was going to be directed by Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard). That version languished in development hell for many years until the project finally shifted over to Universal Pictures, which now appears to be moving forward with the project, according to Deadline.
Shane Salerno has contributed to the screenplays for Armageddon, John Singleton’s Shaft remake and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, but lately he’s been hard at work co-writing the next four Avatar movies along with director James Cameron. So he knows how to navigate a giant production, that’s for sure.
It’s easy to get excited when a beloved video game is being turned into a movie but as always, it’s important to consider the context. We’re still waiting on the first truly great video game movie, after decades of false starts from well-intentioned movie studios. And a video game like Gears of War has a few demerits against it already, since the plot Shane Salerno will be adapting to the big screen is already pretty familiar to audiences who’ve seen similar sci-fi action thrillers before. (We are, of course, still living in the world that Aliens built.)
Maybe Gears of War will finally stop the trend of disappointing video game movies. If it actually gets made this time.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.
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Top Photos: Epic Games / The Coalition
William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.