Scripters on ‘Darkwatch’

'Destination' duo to develop pic, collaborate on game elements

An update was made to this article on May 17, 2004.

The game isn’t expected to hit store shelves until early next year, but Glen Morgan and James Wong are readying to adapt Sammy Studios’ horror Western “Darkwatch: Curse of the West” into a film.

The writing-directing-producing duo behind “Final Destination,” have developed a pitch, based on the vidgame’s plot and action sequences, and are now in the midst of penning a script.

“Darkwatch” revolves around a secret organization dedicated to fighting the forces of evil. Game will take place in the Wild West, focusing on a cowboy/train robber named Jericho Cross who is recruited by the org to battle a horde of vampires and other supernatural creatures.

Game, which will be a first-person shooter, is being readied for release sometime around the first quarter of 2005, for play on Sony’s PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Xbox consoles.

Sammy envisions “Darkwatch” to be the first of a series of games that would be set in different time periods.

“Darkwatch” will be the first title that Sammy has produced in-house since the Japanese gamemaker set up a U.S. studio in Carlsbad, Calif., and acquired a 22% stake in Sega.

Elements of the new game were unveiled to the vidgame biz and Hollywood at the E3 games confab in Los Angeles.

The planned adaptation is unusual considering that the film rights to games usually aren’t picked up until after the game has become a hit with gamers.

But in this case, Endeavor, which is packaging and shopping the project to studios, reps Sammy as well as Morgan and Wong, making an early adaptation much easier to get off the ground and have ready to begin lensing should the game become a bestseller.

What also helped was that “Darkwatch’s” creators Chris Ulm, Paul O’Connor, Emmanuel Valdez and Farzad Varahramyan are fans of “The X-Files,” on which Morgan and Wong served as writers, directors and producers.

Besides developing the film, Morgan and Wong will collaborate with the “Darkwatch” creators on the final version of the game’s creative elements.

Credits for Morgan and Wong also include writing and producing “The One” and “Final Destination.” Morgan most recently helmed New Line’s remake of “Willard,” while Wong directed Revolution’s “The One.”

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