×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

EA sets up ‘Spore’ at Fox

'Ice Age' helmer to adapt game as feature

Twentieth Century Fox has paired up with Electronic Arts to turn the publisher’s popular “Spore” game into an animated creature feature, with “Ice Age’s” Chris Wedge attached to helm.

Greg Erb and Jason Oremland, who penned Disney’s upcoming “The Princess and the Frog” and Ben Stiller pic “The Return of King Doug” at Paramount, will write the script for the “Spore” movie. It will be produced as a CG-animated toon by EA and Blue Sky Studios, which is behind the studio’s “Ice Age” pics, “Robots” and its next effort, “Rio.”

In the game, which was released in September 2008, players create their own creatures and the worlds they live in and share them with other gamers to create an overall universe.

“I’m always looking for unique worlds to go to in animation,” Wedge said. “From every perspective — visually, thematically and comedically — the world of ‘Spore’ provides the potential to put something truly original on the screen.”

Fox is especially high on Wedge after “Ice Age” turned into a major franchise for the studio, generating $1.9 billion from three pics since 2002. He recently exec produced the third installment and “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who” for Fox.

Last week, the studio locked down the toon “Leaf Men” for Wedge to direct, stopping a tug-of-war with Pixar (Daily Variety, Sept. 23). Blue Sky is also producing that pic for Fox Animation.

Wedge additionally has the live-action pic “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” set up at Warner Bros., with Graham King and Johnny Depp producing.

EA Entertainment’s Patrick O’Brien will exec produce the “Spore” pic with Lucy Bradshaw, VP of Maxis Studio, which developed the game with Will Wright, who also created the blockbuster “Sim City” and “The Sims” franchises for EA.

A movie is seen as a way to not only boost interest among current gamers and newbies to the property, especially as sequels and expansion packs are released, but also to create a new source of revenue for EA.

So far, various iterations of “Spore” have sold more than 3.2 million units.

Yet, “with more than 100 million unique creatures uploaded to our website, it’s clear that people are passionate about the game, and it will be exciting to offer a powerful medium like film in order to expand their experience with ‘Spore,’ ” Bradshaw said.

The “Spore” pact is the sixth pic deal that EA has set up since it aligned with UTA.

EA has also set up a bigscreen version of “The Sims” at Fox, with John Davis producing. At Universal, it has “Army of Two,” with director Peter Berg, and “Dante’s Inferno,” with Strike Entertainment producing. DJ Caruso will helm “Dead Space,” with Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey producing, and “Mass Effect” is set up with Avi Arad.

(Michael Fleming contributed to this report.)

More Film

  • Aquaman 2018

    'Aquaman' Crosses $250 Million at Foreign Box Office

    Things are going swimmingly at the box office for “Aquaman” as the Warner Bros.’ superhero flick hits another major milestone overseas. James Wan’s take on the ruler of the seven seas just passed $250 million internationally, and a weekend haul of $126.4 million from 43 territories brings its foreign tally to $261.3 million. “Aquaman” — [...]

  • Mortal Engines

    'Mortal Engines' to Lose More Than $100 Million at Box Office

    “Mortal Engines,” a steampunk fantasy adventure, is also an epic flop. With a budget of just over $100 million and tens of millions in global marketing costs, executives at rival studios estimate that the movie will lose upwards of $100 million. Some even project that number could float to more than $125 million. “Mortal Engines” [...]

  • Thierry Frémaux, José Luis Rebordinos Honored

    Thierry Frémaux, José Luis Rebordinos Named Honorary Argentine Academy Members

    BUENOS AIRES — In a ceremony just before Friday’s prize announcements at Ventana Sur, Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux and José Luis Rebordinos, director of the San Sebastian Festival, were named honorary members of Argentina’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in a new move for the Academy, out through by its new president, Bernardo [...]

  • Nona

    Film Review: 'Nona'

    Twenty years and 12 features down the line, it’s still hard to peg the directorial sensibility of Michael Polish, with or without the presence of brother Mark as frequent co-writer and actor. His output has been all over the place, from early Lynchian quirkfests to the very middle-of-the-road inspirational dramedy “The Astronaut Farmer,” not to [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski "Cold War"

    Pawel Pawlikowski's 'Cold War' Wins for Best Film, Director at European Film Awards

    “Cold War,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s black-and-white romance set in the 1950s, scooped the prizes for best film, director and screenplay at the 31st edition of the European Film Awards on Saturday. “Cold War” star Joanna Kulig also won the award for best actress. Marcello Fonte, the star of Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” won for best actor. Armando Iannucci’s [...]

  • The Favourite Bohemian Rapsody Star is

    The Best Movie Scenes of 2018

    When we think back on a movie that transported us, we often focus on a great scene — or maybe the greatest scene — in it. It’s natural. Those scenes are more than just defining. They can be the moment that lifts a movie into the stratosphere, that takes it to the higher reaches of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content