Ever since the very first, impressively directed teaser for Dead Island debuted online back in 2011 and offered a nonlinear chronicle of the course of the events that turned a little girl into a zombie on a tropical resort island, a movie based on the game was almost a foregone conclusion. It didn’t take long for that film to be announced, with Lionsgate acquiring the rights a few weeks after the trailer premiered, only to have that deal expire with little word on the project in recent years — until now, that is.
Film production and financing company Occupant Entertainment announced this week that it’s partnering with Dead Island publisher Deep Silver to develop a big-screen adaptation of the zombie franchise. In the official announcement of the partnership, the project was said to be fast-tracked with a filmmaker to be announced in the near future and production beginning in 2015.
Thus far, the Dead Island franchise consists of the original September 2011 release, as well as a stand-alone 2013 expansion, Dead Island: Riptide. A spin-off game, Escape Dead Island, is expected to hit shelves later this year, and a sequel to the 2011 game, Dead Island 2, is scheduled for release in 2015. Each of the games thus far has put players in the role of vacationing tourists on an island where a zombie outbreak has turned their relaxing trip into a fight for survival.
“Deep Silver has created a highly successful game franchise based on very cinematic, widely viewed and well received trailers, which provide a great template for launching a film franchise with a distinctive and commercial take on the zombie apocalypse,” said Occupant partners Joe Neurauter and Felipe Marino in a statement accompanying the announcement.
You can watch the original trailer for Dead Island that first sparked all of this big-screen buzz below: