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From Hollywood Reporter
The mini-major is developing a genre picture from Deep Silver’s video game Dead Island, which was preceded by a teaser trailer that went viral online.
TORONTO — Lionsgate, ever on the lookout for properties with movie franchise potential, has optioned the film rights from video game publisher Deep Silver to develop a zombie picture inspired by the viral media sensation Dead Island.
Jason Brown of The Sean Daniel Company and Missy Papageorge for Sonnenfeld’s Sunny Field Productions are executive producing, with Sarah Perlman serving as co-producer.
Alli Shearmur, Lionsgate’s president of motion picture production and development, will oversee the project at the studio with Jim Miller, senior vp of production and development.
The project, announced by Lionsgate motion picture group president Joe Drake, was preceded by a teaser trailer for the Dead Island video game in February 2011 that portrayed a family on a tropical island beset by a mysterious zombie outbreak.
The video game trailer grabbed around 10 million views after two days online, on its way to becoming a viral sensation.
The Dead Island video game from Deep Silver was released stateside on September 6th, and has sold over two million units to date.
Lionsgate is aiming at a Dead Island zombie genre picture that focuses on family ties and non-linear storytelling.
“This is exactly the type of property we’re looking to adapt at Lionsgate – it’s sophisticated, edgy, and a true elevation of a genre that we know and love. It also has built in brand recognition around the world, and franchise potential,” Drake said in a statement.
ummit Entertainment has acquired screen rights to Area 52, and will develop a live action adaptation based on the four-issue comic book series published in 2001. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian will produce, and JC Spink will be executive producer through Benderspink. The comic focused on a top secret warehouse in Antarctica called Area 52, a government storage dump for otherworldly discoveries, manned by a ragtag group of misfits who have been exiled to the middle of nowhere to staff it. When an alien killing machine is accidentally hatched in this repository, the group must band together and use the stored mythological weapons and artifacts to save themselves and the world. They are tying up the underlying rights to the Brian Haberlin comic, and will go out to writers shortly. Di Bonaventura and Vahradian are coming off Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Red, the latter for Summit. Benderspink most recently exec produced I Am Number Four and The Hangover 2.
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20th Century Fox, which tapped into Isaac Asimov’s futuristic robot science fiction for I, Robot, is now working on a live-action adaptation of Asimov’s The Caves of Steel. The studio has set Henry Hobson to direct and John Scott 3 to adapt the murder mystery that was first published as a book in 1954. The director and writer are currently in pre-production on Maggie, a spec script that tracks the six-week metamorphosis of a 16-year-old girl into a zombie after she becomes infected and continues to live with her family. Trained at the Royal College of Art in London as a graphic designer, Hobson specializes in creating inventive title sequences for films that included Sherlock Holmes for Prologue Films. The scribe seems well suited to adapt Asimov’s visionary prose. When not writing scripts, Scott builds command systems for NASA’s flagship X-ray satellite. He works with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, which takes photos of X-ray photons in deep space.
The Caves of Steel will be produced by Simon Kinberg, the X-Men scribe whose Genre Films banner is based at the studio and who is right now producing the Neill Blomkamp-directed Elysium, which stars Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley. Similar to I, Robot (which Fox turned into a hit film with Will Smith), The Caves of Steel is a murder mystery that takes place 1,000 years in the future, on an overpopulated Earth where there is a phobia about robots. The title refers to giant city complexes that are necessary because Earth is so overpopulated. While robots are used for labor in outlying “spacer worlds” where the rich live on spacious parcels, the robots are outlawed on Earth. A Spacer Ambassador lobbying to loosen Earth’s anti-robot restrictions is found dead, his chest imploded by an energy blaster, and a detective is matched with a human-looking robot to solve the crime. Hobson is repped by CAA and Energy Entertainment.
Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven and Alex Gartner have optioned Langley High, a graphic novel conceived by Benderspink.’s JC Spink and Christopher Cosmos. It will be turned into a script by Tomm Coker and Daniel Freedman (Undying Love), and Atlas and Benderspink will produce together. The protagonist is a student from Langley High, located 1.7 miles from CIA headquarters. His father is captured in Russia and when he’s disavowed as a CIA agent, the student teams with an undercover CIA agent teacher from the high school and goes on a mission of revenge.