Gears of War film gets another chance
The list of epic videogames that have failed to get made by Hollywood studios is growing; we've seen Halo and Bioshock monumentally added to that list, although I don't think that we've seen the last of Halo as a film, and now it could well be that Gears of War has just been added to that list and that was the project that seemed to have most hope.
The studio have dropped the project and while there is still a flicker of life it does sound as though the project is set to join the other big name videogame adaptations that have gone before.
Last we heard the film's budget had been downgraded and they were looking for a new writer to tackle the new direction the film was headed, and although Len Wiseman had previously been attached to direct he was still connected but had other projects on his slate that were demanding his attention, things weren't looking good.
Now the word from Variety is that the project has been put in turnaround at New Line, where it's been since 2007 with Len Wiseman once set to direct the epic videogame adaptation. New Line is concentrating on other projects such as the three Hobbit films and it looks like it's just a convenient way of saying the same old story, the project was too expensive for them.
However this doesn't seem like the end of the road for the project as there is a fourth Gears of War game on the horizon for next year and there's a script sitting about from Stuart Beattie that is begging to be made - it's not clear if this is the budget reduced script for a straight invasion film or if this is the one imitating the epic storylines of Gears of War itself. Apparently Creative Artists Agency is keen to find new producers to take the project elsewhere and they are off and looking.
Let's take in the scope of that statement right there. The Gears of War film has been dropped by the studio, there's no director, there is a version of a script which would undoubtedly be rewritten, and there are no producers. Right now it's a version of a script with an agency, that's it.
This doesn't sound much better than Halo or Bioshock and the article even says that the Halo film is still in development, well if that's classed as development then it doesn't look like Gears of War is in a good place right now.
Still it shocks me to the core that huge budget films such as Battleship are made with huge budgets and obviously water thin stories and gain the backing of huge studios and talent galore, or films such as Green Lantern and John Carter get huge budgets pumped at them and yet carry a smaller existing audience than these three leading videogames, or look to the upcoming The Lone Ranger film for another example of a film getting a massive budget thrown at it with potentially limited returns.
Yet here we are with massive existing audiences for videogame franchises that are still being played and sequels developed - Halo, Bioshock and Gears of War - and studios won't touch them. Why wouldn't they compare these to Battleship or Green Lantern and realise they have a much larger, worldwide existing audience ready to take to the cinema should they make the right film? To me it defies explanation.
So Gears of War the film looks like it's dead in the water, joining Halo and Bioshock. Any of them might get another chance although I favour Halo more than Gears of War and I'll explain why in another story.