D.J. Caruso to direct ‘Dead Space’

Helmer set to adapat Electronic Arts hit vidgame

The Electronic Arts hit vidgame “Dead Space” is on course to become a sci-fi/horror film, with “Eagle Eye” helmer D.J. Caruso attached to direct.

EA will produce the film with Temple Hill partners Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey.

The producers, EA and Caruso have been listening to takes from prospective screenwriters, and once they set a writer and EA signs off on a creative direction, they will auction the property to studios. That will likely happen in early September.

The last EA property to follow that course was “Dante’s Inferno” — a journey through the depths of hell; Universal made the deal after a four-studio bidding battle.

“Dead Space” is set in the 26th century in deep space, where an engineer who responds to a distress signal from a mining ship finds the vessel infested with monstrous creatures called Necromorphs. The creatures are human corpses, reanimated by an alien virus.

EA launched the game in 2008 and is working on the second and third installments.

“Dead Space” becomes the fifth EA title to percolate as a feature property. Aside from the “Dante’s Inferno” film that will be produced by Strike Entertainment partners Eric Newman and Marc Abraham, EA is in business with Universal on “Army of Two,” with Scott Z. Burns (“The Bourne Ultimatum”) scripting and Scott Stuber producing. EA’s “The Sims” is being developed by producer John Davis and “Mass Effect” by “Spider-Man” producer Avi Arad.

Temple Hill’s Bowen and Godfrey are producing “Gears of War,” a live-action adaptation of the Microsoft and Epic Games’ vidgame for New Line, with Len Wiseman attached to direct and Chris Morgan scripting.

Caruso is also developing “Defender,” the Gary Witta-scripted DreamWorks drama that Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci are producing.

EA’s repped by UTA and attorney David Fox, while Caruso’s repped by CAA and Media Talent Group.