New Line Gets Into Gears of Wars

New Line Cinema has acquired the film rights to award-winning Xbox 360 video game “Gears of War,” with writer Stuart Beattie (“Collateral”) attached to adapt the project which is aiming for a Summer 2009 release.

Developed by Epic Games, the title became an instant success when it debuted in November – selling more than three million units worldwide in its first 10 weeks and winning many ‘Game of the Year’ awards. It’s deemed as Microsoft’s biggest hit since “Halo”.

Set on the planet Sera, the game thrusts players into a battle for survival between humans and a race of creatures that surface from the bowels of the planet known as the Locust Horde. The gamers developed an extensive back story for spin-off properties of the game – the plan is to use that material to create an elaborate narrative.

Players assume identities of soldiers on Delta Squad as they fight to save the Sera’s inhabitants. Cliff Bleszinski, lead game designer for “Gears,” worked with Beattie to define a 21-page, epic sci-fi war movie treatment that will appeal to the game’s fans and moviegoers.

Though not announced yet, a sequel game is certain and the hope would be to release it around the same time as the film.