Could it be Gears of War will make the jump to the big screen before Halo? That appears to be the case as The Coalition Studio head Rod Fergusson announced that a movie deal has been struck with Universal Studios during a Twitch livestream of the Gears of War 4 launch party.
According to a press release for the project, the Gears of War movie is being produced by Scott Stuber (Ted series, Central Intelligence) and Dylan Clark (Planet of the Apes series, Oblivion) via their Bluegrass Films studio. Additionally, Executive Vice President of Production Jon Mone will oversee the project for Universal and Senior Vice President Jay Ireland will oversee for Bluegrass.
The Gears of War movie is very early in pre-production at the moment to the point where Fergusson had nothing to announce concerning when or where it will take place in the franchise’s history. Additionally, no actors have been cast or tagged to fill any role while no director or writer have been associated with the project either.
“You have to realize it’s a different medium with a different audience,” Fergusson explained during the livestream event. “I think if you were to go in and say it has to be completely 100 percent faithful to the game canon or the story of the game, what’s going to end up happening is it’s not going to be the best movie. The big thing we’re really trying to focus on is making the best Gears movie possible as opposed to the one that’s closest to the game”
A Gears of War film would certainly have a wealth of material to draw from. In addition to the games, there are five novels that details events from before Emergence Day when the Locust first attacked humans on the planet Sera and helped fill in the narrative gaps between each of the first three Xbox 360 games. There was also a comic book series that primarily focuses on the events set during the same time period as the games.
Whatever direction The Coalition and Universal Studios goes with a Gears of War film, it will likely keep the same themes of brotherhood, friendship, and survival between Marcus Fenix and Dom Santiago that is the narrative centerpiece of the games.
There is the gory action from the Gears of War series to consider as well. The game is well-known for its Chainsaw Lancer Rifle used to saw enemies in half plus explosive headshots and body parts too. This is the kind of action that would earn an R rating in most films, so it will be interesting to see if the movie makers go that direction or tone things down for a PG-13. Of course, Deadpool proved that adult films can be a hit, but it will ultimately depend on the cost of the movie and how big a potential audience the producers will want to reach.
Interestingly, this is not the first time a Gears of War movie has been started. New Line Cinema purchased the rights to make a film based on the franchise in 2007 and even signed director Len Wiseman to the film at one point. The project got stuck in development limbo though as the budget was scaled back and Wiseman moved on to other opportunities.
Epic Games eventually sold the Gears of War rights to Microsoft in 2014 and the status of the movie was up in the air again despite being picked up by Stuber and Bluegrass Films a year earlier, as Variety reported at the time. Now that Gears of War 4 is coming out for the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, Universal Studio is officially bankrolling the project and pushing it forward. If things work well, a Gears of War could arrive in 2018 or 2019 at the earliest. It ultimately depends on the production schedule and whether there are any roadblocks that fall in front of it.
Who would you like to see in a Gears of War film? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by The Coalition/Xbox]