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Legendary shifts ‘Gears of War’

Company to co-finance videogame adaptation

“Gears of War” has received a boost from Legendary Pictures, which is coming on board to co-finance and co-produce the project based on Microsoft and Epic Games’ hit vidgame.

It’s the first New Line project that Legendary has signed onto since the mini-major was folded into Warner Bros. earlier this year. Legendary has a deal to co-finance and co-produce at WB.

“Gears of War” has been set up at New Line since early last year with Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey producing through their Temple Hill banner. “Gears” lead designer Cliff Bleszinski is exec producing and consulting for developer Epic, which owns the rights.

Len Wiseman is directing with Chris Morgan writing the script. First draft was penned by Stuart Beattie.

“Gears” centers on a world beset by aliens known as the Locust and a team of soldiers fighting to retake the planet. The violent action title is Microsoft’s second best selling videogame franchise, behind “Halo.” A sequel is coming out in November.

New Line had initially aimed for a summer 2009 release for the pic, but Warner has not yet dated “Gears.”

It’s the second videogame adaptation for Legendary, which is also developing a pic based on Blizzard Entertainment’s hugely successful “World of Warcraft.” In addition, Legendary topper Thomas Tull is a co-founder of videogame publisher Brash Entertainment.

Epic Games topper Mark Rein said in a statement, “Legendary’s appetite for the synthesis of gaming, film and pop culture meshes perfectly with our own.”

Move comes in the wake of the record-breaking box office by “The Dark Knight,” which Legendary co-financed.

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