DEAD ISLAND Movie Rights Sold to Producer of THE MUMMY Trilogy; Updated Synopsis, Images and Poster – Updated

     February 19, 2011


Just yesterday we brought you the overnight internet sensation that was the Dead Island trailer. In that piece, we reported on the rumor that Techland (the zombie horror game’s developer) was shopping the movie rights to the property. It looks like the buzz over the trailer was enough incentive as early reports indicate that producer Sean Daniel has acquired those rights.

Sean Daniel, who has been producing movies for twenty years, has a varied resume of projects including Dazed and Confused, Tombstone and Mallrats. Dead Island won’t be Daniel’s first foray into the horror genre, as he produced Village of the Damned, The Wolfman and The Mummy trilogy. Most of his career was spent with partner Jim Jacks in the production company, Alphaville. The purchase of Dead Island was acquired under the recently formed Sean Daniel Production Company.

[Update: Video game publisher Deep Silver indicate that while they are considering a number of inquiries, the Dead Island film rights have not yet sold.  Read the full press release after the jump.]

For more information on the game, a new poster, and some screenshots, hit the jump:

Here’s the trailer that topped the Twitter trends yesterday:


This deal was first announced by The Wrap, who report that Daniel, with Union Entertainment President Richard Leibowitz and producer Dmitri Johnson, have been following the game’s progress for years and had purchased the rights in 2009.

[Update: here's the press release that suggests the previously announced deal is not official.]

Since video games publisher Deep Silver revealed the upcoming game Dead Island™ this week, its accompanying promotional trailer has created a tremendous amount of buzz in the internet community and has been hailed a “Must See” throughout.

As a result, Deep Silver has received a massive amount of interest in the film adaptation rights to the Dead Island IP. Contrary to rumors that have been circulating, neither the film rights nor any other licenses have yet been sold by Deep Silver, which is the sole IP holder of the Dead Island brand.

While no decision has been made yet regarding Dead Island’s movie rights, Deep Silver is currently looking through a vast amount of inquiries.  Key for the decision is a focus on the quality of the resulting motion picture: “We are looking for quality above all else for a movie based on Dead Island. We want to do it the right way as film realizations of games (or vice versa) usually fail to deliver what the fans were looking for. We will not go down this route with Dead Island. Deep Silver profoundly believes in the quality and value of its Dead Island IP,” says Klemens Kundratitz, CEO of Deep Silver’s parent company Koch Media. “We would therefore be honored to work with someone who already has a proven track record with blockbuster movies.”

Here’s the official synopsis and poster for the game provided to us by Deep Silver:dead-island-poster

Terror. Violence. Madness. Bedlam. A holiday paradise gone mad. A tropical island turns into total chaos after a mysterious zombie outbreak. Cut off from the rest of the world, the player’s only chance to survive is to fight to the death and find a way to escape from the island.

Deep Silver announced today that it will publish Dead Island, the upcoming gruesome zombie slasher by renowned developer Techland. Dead Island combines first-person action with a heavy focus on melee combat, character development and customization of a vast array of weapons. All of these gameplay features are presented in a dark story inspired by classic zombie movies with a gritty and engrossing campaign that can be played with up to four players in co-op mode.

Set in an open world tropical island, hordes of different festering zombies await players around every corner while they embark on a variety of thrilling missions through the holiday resort. With firearms and ammunition being scarce the player must rely on utilizing found items as weapons for self-defense and fight off zombie hordes in intense melee combat. A diverse range of items can be collected and will later serve to transform the player’s ordinary makeshift weapons into serious instruments of destruction.

In addition to satisfying even the most bloodthirsty action fan’s fantasy, Dead Island also features role-playing elements which allow the player to develop one of the game’s unique character classes according to their preferences, all the while learning new skills and fresh tactics during their journey through the perilous environments of the island. What’s more, anytime during a game up to four players can seamlessly join together and experience the intense combat and immersive story with cooperative gameplay.

With the all-new Chrome Engine 5 powering Dead Island, the game will use the latest installment of Techland’s acclaimed proprietary game engine, allowing the player to experience the tropical island paradise in graphical splendor with diverse environments like lush forests and detailed city environments.

Dead Island will be released worldwide for the PlayStation3 computer entertainment system, the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC later this year.

While the figures for Daniel’s deal with Techland haven’t been released, the producer’s track record suggests that this property won’t sit on the shelves as long as the game already has. With the video game set to release later this year and awareness of it still escalating, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a live-action trailer (similar to the one above) within two years. Will the live-action version be as gut-wrenching and polarizing as the animated one? We’ll have to wait and see.

Finally, here’s a few screenshots from the game.

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  • Rolento

    The game looks amazing! At least it’s not going to be a Uwe Boll film…

    • h dot

      hahah….second that

  • drew stone

    I like the look and the idea of melee being the focus , also the sandbox will make for some fun I just hope the story is a little more dark and dramatic

  • broski

    *Sean Daniel skims through trailer*
    *Sean Daniel sees how much buzz trailer is generating*

    F***, LET’S DO IT IN 3D!”

    • JakeD

      Agreed, this is just another way for Hollywood to whore up some more money. I can almost gaurantee that it will star Nick Cage or be Directed by Bay or Cameron, the usual whores.

      • Chris

        Are you actually comparing the man behind Aliens & effin’ Terminator with the hack that brought to you Revenge of The Fallen??? Damn shame, man.

  • Bill

    This game has been in production since long before Left 4 Dead, the original, hit the market. The owners are simply monetizing something based on a few snippets of non-game footage. I’m already bored.

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  • excpired

    I’m sorry, but this trailer was retarded! The backward motion was obnoxious as hell and just made me confused as to whether I was watching the forward or backward action at each particular moment.

    The only way I can see this being a good movie is if they take the basic idea of a COUPLE finding a young girl and trying to survive zombie-hordes on a resort island while keeping the young girl alive. This requires her to not get bitten and then proceed to eat the couple who just saved her shortly before being tossed out of a hotel room to fall to her un-death.

    The piano playing was also quite obnoxious, it would have been a lot better if it only queued in when she was getting saved. This actually reminds me of that other stupid commercial or what have you that was in reverse that everyone thought was so amazing.

    Games suck now a days, they are all about “story development” and “great graphics,” whatever happened to a game just having good game play? That is why the only games I play are PC games, the one frontier that hasn’t been corrupted and doesn’t attempt to be an interactive movie.

    • Nicestjerk

      I love people who spout about things they know nothing about. Your opinion of the trailer, while strongly disagreed with, is your right to have. To say games no longer have good gamrplay if they are on console? Played “Vanquish,” “Bayonetta,” “Little Big Planet,” or “God of War III?”

  • Rebecca
  • matthewhamilton123

    well i actually have the game and its fucking awesome ! and the film will be just as good !

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  • mscheaf

    guess it aint happening