Venturing into the land of the walking dead, DreamWorks has paid mid-six figures against a potential seven figures for the feature film rights to the Sega arcade game “The House of the Dead” as a directing vehicle for Jesse Dylan.
Dylan, son of singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, is attached to direct and produce the feature version along with Jeff Rosen.
Dylan previously had optioned the rights to the game out of his own pocket and developed a narrative storyline with writer Mark Verheiden (“Time Cop,” “The Mask”), who will write the screenplay. Verheiden will receive $350,000 against $700,000 to pen the screenplay.
Using the Sega game as the basis of their tale, Dylan and Verheiden’s story takes place in a small college town, where the ultra-fashionable “Goth” house serves as a haven for zombies, who happen to be the hippest and most popular kids in school.
After the death of a friend at the hands of one of the walking dead during a rave, and following a series of gruesome murders around the campus, the main character, Jenny, and a group of nerdy “necro-warriors” strike out to avenge their friends’ untimely deaths.
DreamWorks exec Jason Hoffs brought the project into the studio.
Dylan — who has made his rep helming musicvideos and TV commercials, including spots for Coca-Cola, Pepsi and MTV’s Rock the Vote — is looking to make his feature directorial debut with either “House of the Dead” or “Neverwhere,” the Neil Gaiman-scripted fantasy pic to which he is attached to direct for Columbia Pictures.
Dylan, whose deal was brokered by Creative Artists Agency, also is producing the Evel Knievel biopic “Pure Evel” for Universal Pictures.
Verheiden was repped by Emile Gladstone of the Broder, Kurland, Webb and Uffner Agency, and attorney Peter Nelson, who also repped Dylan on the deal.