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Dead Island heading to the big screen

Never underestimate the power of hype. Last year, few people had heard of Dead Island. The game had been long in development and short in news. Then it released an epic trailer that had over 10 million views in two days and captured the attention of many—including Hollywood.

It was still months until the game was due, and there were only a handful of images of the actual game, but that trailer combined with some expert PR work had everyone talking. In fact, Deep Silver and publisher Techland did such a good job that a handful of Hollywood studios began a  bidding war over the game began.

The game was then released in August and was well received, going on to ship a million copies in its first week and topping the charts in the U.S. and U.K. But at the heart of the film negotiations was the original trailer depicting a family on vacation in a tropical resort, torn apart by zombies.

Like the trailer that will serve as its primary creative inspiration, the film DEAD ISLAND will be an innovation of the zombie genre because of its focus on human emotion, family ties and non-linear storytelling.  Said Drake of the property’s acquisition, “Like the hundreds of journalists and millions of fans who were so passionate and vocal about the Dead Island trailer, we too were awestruck.”  He continued, “This is exactly the type of property we’re looking to adapt at Lionsgate – it’s sophisticated, edgy, and a true elevation of a genre that we know and love.  It also has built in brand recognition around the world, and franchise potential.” 

After a few months of quiet haggling, and a wait-and-see approach to how the game was received, Lionsgate has come out as the winner, and it has announced plans to bring Dead Island to the big screen.

The press release confirms that the film is in the early stages of development, and there is a producer attached, but it is still very early in the process. Expect to hear more about this game-turned-film in the coming months.

Like the trailer that will serve as its primary creative inspiration, the film DEAD ISLAND will be an innovation of the zombie genre because of its focus on human emotion, family ties and non-linear storytelling. Said Drake of the property’s acquisition, “Like the hundreds of journalists and millions of fans who were so passionate and vocal about the Dead Island trailer, we too were awestruck.” He continued, “This is exactly the type of property we’re looking to adapt at Lionsgate – it’s sophisticated, edgy, and a true elevation of a genre that we know and love. It also has built in brand recognition around the world, and franchise potential.”

The film DEAD ISLAND is currently in the early development stage with producers attached. Sean Daniel (THE MUMMY, TOMBSTONE, DAZED AND CONFUSED) will spearhead production through his Sean Daniel Company. A veteran producer with global franchises under his belt, Daniel is to be joined in producing by Stefan Sonnenfeld, who has been a pioneer in the post production field, using the process as a platform to create a unique visual brand with directors including J.J Abrams, Michael Bay and Gore Verbinski. Jason Brown of The Sean Daniel Company and Missy Papageorge for Sonnenfeld’s Sunny Field Productions are executive producing, with Sarah Perlman of Sunny Field Productions serving as co-producer.