First announced late in 2016, the movie based on the Gears of War game franchise appears to be gaining some momentum, as Universal Pictures has officially hired a screenwriter to pen the first draft of the film.
Shane Salerno, who’s working on the four planned sequels to James Cameron’s Avatar hitting theaters between 2020 and 2025, will pen the script for the Gears of War movie. Salerno previously worked on the script for Michael Bay’s 1998 asteroid-disaster thriller Armageddon and Oliver Stone’s 2012 film Savages.
According to Deadline, the live-action adaptation of Microsoft Studios’ blockbuster game franchise will feature an original story not based on any particular installment of the five-game series. The franchise is set on an Earth-like planet named Sera and follows the members of an elite military unit during a conflict that has pitted humanity against a subterranean species known as Locust with the remaining humans on the brink of extinction.
Since the first Gears of War game was released for the Xbox 360 in 2006, the series has gone on to become one of the most successful franchises of all time for the Xbox 360 console and on Microsoft’s Xbox Live multiplayer network. All five of the series’ installments have received positive reviews, and the series has reportedly sold more than 22 million units and earned Microsoft more than $1 billion in revenue as of January 2014. The various installments of the franchise have chronicled the days before, during, and decades after the Locust invasion, with the last game in the franchise timeline, Gears of War 4, set 25 years after its predecessor.
Along with the Avatar sequels and Gears of War, Salerno is also working on a script for The Cartel for director Ridley Scott.
The most recent iteration of the Gears of War franchise to be released was 2015’s Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, which was released for Xbox One in 2015 and Windows 10 in 2016.