Back in February a trailer for the video game Dead Island hit the net and told the story of a family at a tropical resort who are besieged by zombies. The trailer was praised for being “well-edited and emotionally engaging”, something rare in video games (especially when zombies are involved).
Game publisher Deep Silver resisted selling movie rights following the teaser hype, saying they were “looking for quality above all else” and they “want to do it the right way as film realizations of games (or vice versa) usually fail to deliver what the fans were looking for.” However following the critical and financial success of the game, which was released earlier this month, Lionsgate has purchased the movie rights.
Here’s a section from the press release:
The game centers on vacationers whose island paradise becomes a living hell when a zombie outbreak quickly spreads. Cut off from the rest of the world, the survivors have only the available materials and the island’s natural “weapons” to protect themselves from the viscous and growing legions of the undead. In addition to the award-winning trailer and video game, the Dead Island intellectual property will be simultaneously developed by Deep Silver into forthcoming graphic novels, novels and other extensions.
Like the trailer that will serve as its primary creative inspiration, the film DEAD ISLAND will be an innovation of the zombie genre because of its focus on human emotion, family ties and non-linear storytelling. Said Drake of the property’s acquisition, “Like the hundreds of journalists and millions of fans who were so passionate and vocal about the Dead Island trailer, we too were awestruck.” He continued, “This is exactly the type of property we’re looking to adapt at Lionsgate – it’s sophisticated, edgy, and a true elevation of a genre that we know and love. It also has built in brand recognition around the world, and franchise potential.”
Sean Daniel, producer of The Mummy franchise, The Scorpion King, and The Wolfman is producing along with Stefan Sonnenfeld who has worked in the post production field on movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, X-Men: The Last Stand and The Hurt Locker. The movie is still in the early stages of development so it won’t be hitting screens for a few years.
Here’s the trailer which is responsible for the hype and (now) movie: