While most sub-genres of movies see ebbs and flows as far as quality control goes, video game adaptations are almost exclusively ebbs, and some of the worst films ever made stem from such digital source material. Add the phrase “made for streaming” to the front of that description and it puts some truly heinous expectations in your mind. Luckily, Legendary Entertainment and Crackle’s upcoming feature Dead Rising: Watchtower has rounded up a solid cast to take charge against a growing zombie apocalypse, including Jesse Metcalfe (Dallas), Virginia Madsen (Witches of East End), Dennis Haysbert (The Unit), and Meghan Ory (Once Upon a Time). You’re not in good hands, zombies. (Allstate joke.)
To be expected, Dead Rising: Watchtower takes its main cues form the video game by being set in a world where zombies run amok. The outbreak was supposed to be conquered by a mandatory government-provided vaccine, but that didn’t work, and it’s up to the four lead characters to stay healthy while trying to figure out how the undead plague started.
And guess what? It looks like the government may have been in on it. So you can imagine that politics and conspiracy theory play into this heavily. I can’t imagine that this storyline will help in informing the doofuses who still think that vaccines cause autism. The announcement doesn’t come with any character descriptions, though we can probably assume that everyone will be playing the “frazzled survivor.”
Haysbert, who will always be 24‘s President Palmer to me, will soon find his way back to a TV series for Fox’s detective dramedy Backstrom. He’s also currently filming Seth MacFarlane’s Ted 2 and has Michael Almereyda’s biographical drama Exerimenter coming early next year. Madsen, meanwhile, can soon be seen in Michael Johnson’s drama The Wilderness of James, as well as Michael Taverna’s still-in-pre-production sci-fi thriller Resilient 3D. She’s also got the undead-centered NBC pilot Babylon Fields, but I have no idea what happened to that.
After getting his big break on Desperate Housewives, Metcalfe starred in the NBC drama Chase before finding his way to TNT’s Dallas. (I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, but he won’t be headed back to the Big D.) Ory made her way from Canadian TV over to U.S. TV and is having a big year already, with her starring role in Once Upon a Time bolstered by a role in Fox’s short-lived Intelligence.
Directed by Zach Lipovsky (Leprechaun: Origins), with a script written by Tim Carter, Dead Rising: Watchtower is being produced by Contradiction Films, who are behind the surprisingly enjoyable Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series. Executive producing is Lorenzo di Bonaventure (Transformers), which is yet another reason to believe this flick will have zero problems with financing.
Dead Rising: Watchtower is set to go into production on September 30, and will make its initial bow on the Sony-owned Crackle platform in the U.S. Following an undetermined exclusive run on Crackle, Content Media (Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn) will then release the film on VOD and DVD in both feature-length and episodic form.