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Will 'Dead Island' make a good movie?

February 18, 2011 |  8:46 pm

When we wrote this week that someone in Hollywood should drop what they're doing and develop "Dead Island" as a feature little did we -- or anyone else -- realize that someone was already doing that.

The Wrap reported today that "The Mummy" producer Sean Daniel is part of a group that acquired rights to the as-yet-unreleased video game  back in 2009.

The trailer is, by almost every online account, among the best in years of any medium (a rare case of nearly everyone on the Interwebs actually agreeing). So there's a lot of hope that the aesthetic on display in the trailer could be turned into a great film. (You can watch the trailer again here.)

Daniel is, incidentally, a producer of some pedigree. Although he's known mostly as a commercial genre producer (he does, unfortunately, count the flop that is "The Wolf Man" as a credit) he also showed a different side with seminal slacker film "Dazed and Confused."

But to capitalize on the strengths of the trailer, he and his Union Entertainment partners will need to bring in not just writers and directors capable of telling a good zombie story, but creators with a soulful sensibility, which is what makes the trailer so heart-shatteringly great in the first place.

An even bigger question is whether this small gem can be made better when it's made bigger.  As strong as the "Dead Island" trailer is, it's a zombie mood piece. That works in three minutes, but will lose its impact in 100 minutes. Making "Dead Island" work as a movie will require extrapolating from a series of fight scenes full-bodied characters and story lines -- without losing what made some of those fight scenes special in the first place.

And then there's the biggest question of all:  Once you do make a "Dead Island" movie, how do you possibly cut a trailer for it?

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: 'Dead Island.' Credit: Deep Silver.

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Theres the trailer in HD - amazingly good looking!!

This was posted today...

On Saturday we and other web sites reported that the movie rights to the long-in-development zombie action game Dead Island had already been bought by movie producer Sean Daniel and Union Entertainment back in 2009. The first reports came from movie industry web sites which usually are accurate.

Now our sister site Joystiq reports that according to a statement from Klemens Kundratitz, the CEO of Koch Media (the parent company of Dead Island publisher Deep Silver) those movie right haven't been bought at all. While it admits that it has received "a vast amount of inquiries" about securing those rights, Kundratitz states, "We want to do it the right way as film realizations of games (or vice versa) usually fail to deliver what the fans were looking for." That's certainly true. Our question: How did all these movie industry web sites miss the mark so badly on their original stories?


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