Apparently, movie producers know an undead cash cow when they see one. The video game Dead Island, which took the internet by storm last week with its gripping, visceral trailer, hasn’t been released yet, but that’s not going to stop Hollywood from jumping into the fray. Sean Daniel of The Sean Daniel Company has already snagged the rights to the property.
Of course, this means little at this point — it’s not like there’s a writer, director or any actors attached. But Daniel saw the video go viral as hell last week and figured he’d take the chance. Daniel’s a producing veteran with a resume of… um… mixed quality. He’s also produced films like Hard Target (umm…), Tombstone (yay!), The Mummy (errr…), and The Wolfman (boooo!).
Oh, who am I kidding. I not-so-guiltily love The Mummy.
Regardless, what makes it interesting is that first of all, it shows just how ridiculously hungry Hollywood is to jump onto the next big thing. And Dead Island probably isn’t even going to be a big thing, since the video game market is supremely oversaturated with zombie games right now, the game isn’t coming out on all platforms, and no one’s even seen any gameplay yet. So basically we’ve got a 3 minutes CGI short film to go on. For those who haven’t seen it, here you go:
I will say, that short film was pretty damn impressive. It reminded me most of the opening of Zack Snyder’s Dawn Of The Dead remake, where Sarah Polley and her husband are woken up by their neighbor’s daughter standing in their doorway… and hell promptly breaks loose. It’s a terrifying, intense few minutes, and probably the best part of the movie (I’m not knocking the movie — it’s actually pretty enjoyable and also probably Snyder’s best work). One of those “normal people confronted with the unthinkable” moments. Here it is, if you’re curious:
(It’s around the 4:15 mark that things go nutty)
Like I said, pretty intense stuff.
Of course, Dead Island doesn’t have much else going for it. The game is supposed to be about a zombie outbreak at an island resort, described by its makers as a “first-person zombie slasher action RPG.” It’s essentially the plot for a thousand other zombie games/films/books/TV shows, and while it may make for a fun, engaging game, making an interesting/unique film is a whole other enchilada. And now that things like “The Walking Dead,” 28 Days Later, and Shaun Of The Dead have set the bar impossibly high, I’ll be stunned if anything, especially anything good, comes from this.
Especially considering Daniel is also responsible for The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor.