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Okay, okay let's take a moment to breathe and remember that even though we've faced decades of shoddy video game film adaptations things are bound to get better. In nearly every video game that we've ever played, the hero eventually saves the day or escapes from the pit of despair, torture, zombies, mythical creatures only to return in the sequel.
So, hope is just over the horizon for an adaptation to finally break the gaming curse for good. And #UniversalStudios hopes for Gears of War to be the film to do just that.
After nearly ten years stuck in development hell, New Line Studios let go of the rights to the Gears of War property to which #Universal promptly chose to pick it up and announce last year that they would be developing a film based on the gaming franchise.
The Gears of War franchise has amassed over 45 million gamers worldwide and grossed $1 billion dollars since the first game was released in 2006. Across five games in the franchise, players have been drawn into the excitement on the Earth-like world, called Sera which is plagued by the Locust Horde. The games follow a group of bulked-up commandos who are set on a course through the post-apocalyptic society in the hopes of saving humanity.
In 2016, Universal and Microsoft announced that they would in fact be collaborating on the film adaptation, but it wasn't until recently that Shane Salerno would tackle the script. Salerno has been working with James Cameron lately on crafting the Avatar sequels, but is also known for scripting Armageddon, The Cartel, Shaft and Savages - so he has enough under his belt to think that he's up to the task of taking us into the Gears Universe.
What does this mean for the future of 'Gears?'
When it comes to video game adaptations, Universal believes that they've uncovered the secret to making one successful. Rod Fergusson, the studio head for The Coalition who develops the Gears franchise had this to say:
They’re two different mediums, and two different audiences in some cases, and I think some video game movies in the past have failed because they tried to make a movie for gamers. If you have this great IP with a deep backstory and lots of lore that you can make interesting stories out of it’s great, but if you just go after the gaming audience then it isn’t going to be a successful movie. That’s one of the great things about working with Universal, we’re finding that line where we can say it has enough lore and canon that it feels genuine to the game while at the same time going beyond that and asking ‘OK what makes a great movie?
Gears of War is a massive franchise, and introducing a film that builds off of the lore in the games will drive gamers to the theaters, but will allow non-gamers to feel comfortable walking into the same theater with open eyes.
At the end of Gears of War 4, we weren't left with a cliffhanger per-say, but we were given a great launching point for the rumored Gears of War 5. And with Universal's film set to be in the universe without directly following a specific game, this could be the secret to developing a successful video game franchise along with a thriving movie universe.
Cursed or not, the fact that Gears of War is set to be developed after years on the back burner should give gamers a great deal of hope for the future of video game adaptations.