Zombie fans and gamers alike got some good news recently: the often talked about film adaptation of the popular video game Dead Island has, well, it’s come back from the dead.
It’s been some time since we heard even a peep from the project, but Deadline reports that the film version of the wildly popular video game could hit theaters as early as next year. Dead Island first appeared in 2011, and now Occupant Entertainment has teamed up with publisher Deep Silver to finance and produce the picture.
I’ve never played the game, but it sold more than 8 million copies, and people seem to enjoy it. The story sounds like fairly standard zombie fare. There’s a group of people, on a tropical island this time, who have to survive everyone else becoming raging, flesh-hungry walking corpses. I mostly know the game from the Memento-style announcement trailer they released that shows a family vacation gone very, very wrong.
Lionsgate originally purchased the rights back in 2011, but due to delays, including the merger with Summit Entertainment, the rights eventually reverted to Deep Silver. With Dead Island 2 nearing completion, set to come out next year, this film has been put on the fast track and the goal is for them to start production in early 2015. According to the report, they intend to have the film done in time for a premiere at either the Berlin or Cannes film festivals, which seems like a strange pairing to me, but what the hell.
Occupant is the company behind the long-delayed slasher All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, which stars Amber Heard and finally came out last year after making its premiere in 2006. They were one of the original bidders back in 2011. Occupant partners Joe Neurauter and Felipe Marino said, “Deep Silver has created a highly successful game franchise based on very cinematic, widely viewed and well received trailers, which provide a great template for launching a film franchise with a distinctive and commercial take on the zombie apocalypse.”
It will be interesting to see what Occupant and Deep Silver do to set their film apart from the swarm of other zombie-related titles currently being pumped out by studios and independent producers alike. There’s a unique setting, but beyond that, there doesn’t appear to be too much that you haven’t seen time and time again. I’m always game for a good zombie movie, however, so let’s hope they can capitalize on the game’s popularity and make something worth watching.
While Dead Island is a grim, serious take on the genre, Dead Island 2 is reportedly a more tongue in cheek, humorous addition. Set in Venice Beach, California, the trailer for the sequel, which debuted at E3 back in June, has already amassed 10 million views.