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LAT: Gears of War [GEARS] grinding to a halt? Budget cut. Len Wiseman [LWISE] turning attention to Nocturne [IPO needed]

Posted by: eyescovered on Apr 06, 03:57






LA Times

EXCLUSIVE: All video-game adaptations these days seem like fraught propositions, but the movie version of "Gears of War" has seemed especially touch-and-go. First there were rumors that the property had stalled in development. Then the rumors were quelled. Then they started up again.

Now sources say the New Line project has really slowed down. The film's story and budget have been scaled back,  and director Len Wiseman, the filmmaker behind "Live Free or Die Hard" and the "Underworld" franchise (he's variously written, directed and/or produced the three films in the franchise), is instead turning his attention to "Nocturne," an apocalyptic thriller based on an idea from "Red Dawn" writers Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore. (Wiseman had previously been in talks to direct that property, which is set up at Fox. It's now official.)

In the "Gears" video game, main character Marcus Fenix leads a human group charged with protecting the fictional planet Sera from a pernicious enemy called the Locust Horde. Fenix is a former prisoner and soldier who comes with all the back story, and muscles, you'd want a movie action hero to come with, and the game features plenty of feature-ready weaponry and mythology. 

Which is probably why (along with the millions of copies that the Xbox game and its sequel have sold) the project had generated a certain buzz: the script, from "Wanted" writer Chris Morgan and with some character work from veteran Billy Ray ("State of Play," Flightplan" the "24" movie), was to be a multi-generational epic with a big-canvas feel.

But the studio has now cut the budget, going from a film that would have cost more than $100 million to one that will cost a good chunk less than that. It's also reined in the story, turning it into a more simple, straight-ahead invasion story instead of a sprawling epic. Producers are looking for a new writer to handle all this, but haven't found one yet. And Wiseman, while technically still attached, will likely not be a part of it when all is said and done. (With him going, any possibility of Kate Beckinsale starring would go too; Wiseman is married to the actress and had talked about wanting her for a part.)  A New Line spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment. 


LAT: Gears of War [GEARS] grinding to a halt? Budget cut. Len Wiseman [LWISE] turning attention to Nocturne [IPO needed]   eyescovered on Apr 06, 03:57

maybe they saw how bad the preview was for Prince of Persia and went ehhh this video game movie thing will never work   bennyboy10 on Apr 06, 08:08

Most video game movies end with an EPIC FAIL...   eyescovered on Apr 06, 11:40

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