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‘Fatal’ pic in ‘Works

Studio nabs Japanese horror vidgame

With a horror franchise in mind, DreamWorks has picked up exclusive film rights to horror vidgame “Fatal Frame” from Japanese game publisher Tecmo.

Announcement was made at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (aka E3), the vidgame biz’s annual confab, which wraps today at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

There is not yet a script or a writer attached to the project.

“Fatal Frame,” which hit store shelves in March, revolves around a woman’s search for her mysteriously missing brother, which leads her to a haunted mansion, armed only with an antique camera that lets her see ghosts.

The game, Tecmo’s latest release, has received critical acclaim as one of the best horror games on the market. Title is available only on Sony’s PlayStation 2.

Horror games lately have been catching the eyes of many filmmakers, with titles like “Resident Evil,” “House of the Dead” and “Silent Hill” quickly being picked up and rushed into development.

“We were amazed by the fantastic creative vision driving ‘Fatal Frame,’ ” said DreamWorks production topper Michael De Luca. “Our plan is to take the scariest videogame of all time and transport that vision — complete with all the tension, fear and storyline intact — to the bigscreen for everyone to experience. This is an exciting new project with outstanding potential for DreamWorks.”

Tecmo also is behind the popular vidgame franchise “Dead or Alive,” whose film rights recently were sold to Mindfire Entertainment (“Free Enterprise”). The film version of that game, which pits heavily muscled characters against each other in an arena, is being prepped for a 2003 release.