It’s been a long time coming but the popular third-person shooter videogame “Gears of War” may be getting closer to a film adaptation.
Scott Stuber is coming on to produce and begin developing the script with videogame’s creator, Epic Games.
The project has yet to attach talent, writer or distributor, although Stuber does have a first look deal with Universal. Both parties will begin taking it out to studios.
Like almost every major game property, “Gears of War” has had a long, tough road towards a film adaptation.
New Line picked up the rights in 2007, tasking Stuart Beattie to adapt the script and Len Wiseman to direct. When creative differences between the studio and Epic could not be reconciled, New Line let the property go and it has since been looking for a new home.
Six months ago Epic began taking meetings with producers to decide where the rights would land next. Some of the producers who were interested include Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Chernin Entertainment, who like Stuber, have taken on properties with this kind of epic size in the past.
In recent years, Stuber has balanced producing comedies like “Ted” and “Identity Thief” with action pics like “Safe House” and the upcoming “47 Ronin.” “Gears of War” fits into that tentpole-style action genre.
The videogame story is set on the planet Sera and follows a former P.O.W. who is civilization’s best hope in the fight against the Locust Horde, a race of creatures who emerged from beneath the planet’s surface and are intent on eliminating humankind.
The game was released in 2006 and has since spawned three sequels and sold close to 19million units.
Studios have had a difficult time delivering these videogame adaptations. Bigscreen versions of “Halo” and “Bioshock” failed to come together because of budget reasons and creative differences between the film studio and videogame company.
In many cases, the videogame companies are adamant about having control over the project when rights are sold, and insiders say the reason for meetings taking such a long time may have to do with working out how much control would be allowed on the projects.
Stuber is repped by CAA.