Exclusive: Dead Space Movie Being Directed By James Wan

We've learned James Wan of Aquaman fame is directing a big screen adaptation of the popular video game Dead Space.

By Michileen Martin | Updated

dead space movie

No one may be able to hear you scream in space, but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to holler anyway. According to our trusted and proven sources, James Wan of Malignant and Aquaman fame has been tapped as the director to bring what may be the next great science fiction horror film franchise to the big screen. Wan will direct the Dead Space movie, based on the popular video game of the same name.

The news our sources gave us tracks with what legendary Hollywood filmmaker John Carpenter said earlier this year. A decade ago, in 2013, reports emerged that Carpenter was attached to direct the Dead Space movie. This January, Variety asked if he had any updates about the project, and the Escape from New York director clarified that he was never attached, but that he believed another director was:

“No, no, no. I can’t believe how that spread … I was down looking at the new digital cameras … and happened to mention to them that I would love to do a Dead Space film … I’m not gonna do it. I think they already have another director involved. And they haven’t asked me to do it.”

-John Carpenter

Whether Carpenter was ever attached to the Dead Space movie or not, it’s fitting that it’s instead James Wan who will be directing the film. The Australian filmmaker is 30 years younger than Carpenter and so hasn’t accrued as much experience in the industry yet but, like Carpenter, while he clearly has a taste for horror he refuses to be held hostage by a single genre. He’s also helped make big-budget action films like 2015’s Furious 7, as well as one of DC’s most well-regarded superhero films of recent years: 2018’s Aquaman.

dead space movie
Credit: Gage Skidmore

The sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set to hit theaters on December 20, and so far, it’s been dogged with reports of disastrous test screenings.

The Dead Space movie will be based on the popular 2008 survival horror game set in the 26th century, whose current generation remake was released in January. The short version? Dead Space = space zombies.

dead space movie
Clarke encounters a Necromorph in Dead Space (2023)

The longer version? Dead Space finds the player taking on the role of engineer Isaac Clarke, who is part of a rescue team sent to respond to the distress call of the Ishimura. On the ship the player encounters the terrifying Necromorphs: the animated and mutated remains of dead humans brought to life by an alien artifact.

If the Dead Space movie does well, a film franchise is likely to follow. The first game spawned two sequels and three spin-offs, as well as the two animated films Dead Space: Downfall and Dead Space: Aftermath.