Gears of War Taking on the Big Screen

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New Line Cinema has snapped up the film rights to Epic Games’ hit Xbox 360 title Gears of War and attached Australian screenwriter Stuart Beattie (Collateral), who will work with lead game designer Cliff Blezinski to craft a screenplay. Marty Bowen is on baord as a producer with partner Wyck Godfrey.

Gears of War sold more than three million copies in its first 10 weeks of availability; it also took over the top spot on Microsoft’s Xbox Live service and garnered numerous industry awards. The game is set on the planet Sera, where players take on the roles of soldiers in Delta Squad as they fight the Locust Horde, monstrous creatures which emerge from the depths of the planet.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Film adaptions of video games have a decidedly mixed track record, with some franchises translating to the screen better than others. In comments to the Hollywood Reports, Beattie indicated that he felt an “epic sci-fi war movie” had yet to be made, an Gears of War presented that opportunity. Producer Bowen has indicated New Line’s intent with Gears of War is to produce a top-drawer movie.

No release date has been bandied about, but it would be reasonable for New Line to be looking at a 2009 release date for a Gears of War film.