Electronic Arts is breathing new life into plans to adapt its sci-fi horror video game “Dead Space” into a potential film franchise it was revealed at Comic Con on Thursday.
Justin Marks helped develop the story for the film that Neal Moritz will co-produce. Moritz has been attached to the project for more than three years, back when DJ Caruso was eyeing the project as a directing vehicle.
“Europa Report” scribe Philip Gelatt has penned a script that EA will continue to develop with another screenwriter. EA has chosen to fund development of the script before shopping around the project to studios.
The company had no success getting any of its projects made in recent years until they funded development of the “Need for Speed” script. Once done, DreamWorks read it, jumped onboard that project, helped them fine tune the script, and got it into production. The “Need for Speed” film hits cinemas next year.
As a result, EA will do the same for ‘Space’ and several other projects – giving them both more creative control, and moving the projects forward faster.
It’s a move that has worked for EA rival Ubisoft which is planning to turn practically every single one of its AAA video game franchises like “Assassin’s Creed,” “Far Cry,” “Watch Dogs” and “Splinter Cell” into films.
First launched in 2008, “Dead Space” follows an engineer named Isaac Clarke who fights to survive onboard a planet cracker – the massive mining ship USG Ishimura where the dead crew have been reanimated into ‘Necromorph’ monsters by an alien artefact.
In a time of action-centric FPS franchises, “Dead Space” is one of the few genuine console efforts in the survival horror genre. Genuinely atmospheric and creepy, it also requires players to dismember rather than outright kill opponents which makes weapons like flying rotating saw blades your best friend.
The first two games scored rave reviews. The third shifted focus away from the horror towards a more action-centric and multiplayer approach, and reviews were much more mixed.