Another massive video game franchise has its sights set on a big screen adaptation. It was announced today that Gears of War, which is getting ready to launch the fourth video game in its franchise, will be adapted into a movie at Universal. The movie is reportedly in the early stages of pre-production and will seek to break the curse of the bad video game movie in Hollywood.

The announcement was made by Rod Fergusson, who is the head of the video game studio The Coalition which is in charge of the Gears of War series. The company was doing a live stream event on YouTube in honor of Gears of War 4 being released and during the course of the stream the news was dropped. Microsoft and The Coalition have partnered with Universal to make the Gears of War movie, which Rod Fergusson seems to have very high hopes for. Here is what he had to say about it.

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"When you do a movie like this, you have to realize that it's a different medium with a different audience. I think if you were to go in and say, like, 'OK, it's got to be completely 100 percent faithful to the game canon,' or the story of the game, like, what's going to end up happening is ... it's not going to be the best movie. The big thing we're really trying to focus on is making the best Gears movie possible, as opposed to the one that's the most closest to the game...I want it to be this thing where it feels authentic to Gears of War, but I want it to, like, blow people's minds because it's actually a great movie first, and then it pays homage to the source material second."

Scott Stuber of Bluegrass Films is set to produce the Gears of War movie for Universal. His previous credits include Ted, Central Intelligence and the upcoming Peter Berg movie about the Boston Marathon bombing, Patriots Day. At the moment there is no word a director, writer or an anticipated release date for the Gears of War movie, but it is likely that some of that information will be coming out in the near future.

This is not the first time a Gears of War movie has been in development. Back in 2007, New Line announced that they were working on a movie based on the video game franchise with Stuart Bettie, who wrote Collateral and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, set to pen the screenplay. Underworld director Len Wiseman had signed on to direct, but the project ultimately fell apart. The Gears of War video game franchise is insanely popular, having sold a total of 27 million copies to date. If Hollywood is going to keep trying to make video game movies, that would seem to be a good franchise to explore.

Video game movies have been a very tough code to crack in terms of movie adaptations. This year, Warcraft had everyone's hopes set pretty high, but the movie failed to wow critics, even if it did manage to become the highest grossing video game adaptation of all-time, pulling in $433 million worldwide. That was largely thanks to a massive turnout overseas, specifically in China. The movie was dead on arrival domestically. Games like Gears of War have a very rich story and universe to tap into, so it would seem like Universal at least has the opportunity to finally find the right combination and make video game movies a more viable option in Hollywood. If Assassin's Creed manages to do well this December, it wouldn't be all that surprising if the Gears of War movie gets put on the fast track.

The story for Gears of War takes place on the planet Sera. The game centers on a battle for survival between humans and a race of creatures known as the Locust Horde that surface from deep within the planet. The soldiers of Delta Squad (who are likely to be the main characters of the movie) are forced to fight to save Sera's inhabitants from certain destruction. We will be sure to keep you up to date as more information becomes available for the Gears of War movie. For now, fans can look forward to Gears of War 4, which comes out on October 11.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott