According to The LA Times, New Line’s Gears of War adaptation has stalled and is set to be re-jiggered with a lower budget. The article states that the Gears script by Chris Morgan (Wanted) and Billy Ray (State of Play, Flightplan) was originally planned as a “multi-generational epic with a big-canvas feel.” Sounds awesome right?! But of course with any good multi generational epic there comes a big ol’ price tag, in this case around $100 million. New Line decided this was too steep and the studio will search out a new team of writers to make a “more simple, straight-ahead invasion story” and significantly pared down budget.
You may recall that Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard, Underworld) was attached to direct Gears for the past few years. Well Len is seemingly departing the project to instead direct a post apocalyptic film called Nocturne (about a group who survives the apocalypse and how they came to be there).
For those non-gamers out there, Gears of Wars is an adaptation of an Xbox 360 third person shooter that followed the gritty and futuristic story of Marcus Fenix, a hardened veteran/ex con battling against an alien threat known as the Locust Horde. The game memorably featured the iconic Lancer assault rife which happens to be a big gun with a chainsaw attached to it for bloody close range attacks(!).
As cool as it would have been to have an epic “multi generational” Gears of War film, it seems a bit ambitious for a game adaptation under the direction of the highly questionable Len Wiseman. The scaled back version could still be cool if they get a solid director…like Neill Blomkamp (my campaign for Blomkamp to direct every sci-fi action film until he dies officially starts here and now). Here’s to hoping New Line nails it.
Discuss: In your opinion who and/or what could save Gears of War from development hell?