Universal is in final negotiations to pick up Arabian Knights for producers Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins (Flight Plan) of Imagine Entertainment. The story, conceived by Kyle Ward, will assume a revisionist take on the Middle Eastern folk tales collected in One Thousand and One Nights (often called Arabian Nights in English). Plot details are under wraps, but Variety clarifies that Arabian Knights with a “K” will be “radically different” from the FilmDisrtict project Arabian Nights that stars Liam Hemsworth. (The latter is more traditional, to the extent that a Hollywood action movie starring a Hemsworth brother can be deemed “traditional.”) Arabian Knights is currently housed at Blacklight Transmedia, a c0mpany that specializes in multimedia properties. The Wrap suggests Blacklight will develop a graphic novel, video game, and book series to accompany the feature film.
This will make the second spec script Ward sold to Universal after Fiasco Heights, which teams a hitman with a private eye “in search of a missing woman and an invaluable briefcase.” Otherwise, it’s all video game adaptations for Ward: Kane & Lynch at Lionsgate, Hitman 2 at Fox, and Devil May Cry at Screen Gems.
Read more about One Thousand and One Nights after the jump. (One jump ahead of the breadline, if you will.)
The Resident Evil series has been good to Screen Gems. The four films have collectively grossed more than $580 million. Resident Evil: Afterlife is the studio’s highest grossing production at $296 million worldwide. There are plans for another sequel (obviously). And if things go according to plan, the Resident Evil universe will have inspired another lucrative franchise at Screen Gems.
Capcom initially developed video game Devil May Cry as the third Resident Evil game. But Devil May Cry wound up bearing no particular resemblance to Resident Evil, so Capcom launched the former as an original property. Now the five Devil May Cry games have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. Variety reports Screen Gems has picked up the feature film rights to Devil May Cry. Kyle Ward, who also adapted the video game Kane & Lynch, will write the script.
The games center around Dante, a man who slaughters demons to avenge his mother’s death. Watch a trailer for one of the more recent installments to get a sense of the visuals at play.
Director Wayne Kramer (Running Scared) is reportedly in talks to helm the upcoming adaptation of the video game Kane & Lynch. Stunt Coordinator Simon Crane was set to make his directing debut on the film, but according to Latino Review, “it wasn’t working out” with the studio. An offer then went out to F. Gary Gray (Law Abiding Citizen) but he turned down the project. Now they’re talking to Kramer and production is scheduled to begin in August.
Based off the Eidos game and written by Kyle Ward, the film stars Bruce Willis as Kane, a mercenary who’s forced to team up with Lynch, a schizophrenic killer played by Jamie Foxx, in order to escape prison and find a stolen microchip. Anyone who has seen Running Scared knows that Kramer would be a fantastic choice for this project.
You can click here to check out a high-resolution poster for Kane & Lynch that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Also, click here for Steve’s interview with producers Adrian Askarieh and Daniel Alter.
After countless players marveled at Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and commented that it feels like a movie, Sony still wants the popular video game franchise to actually be a movie. For those who aren’t aware of the property, the Uncharted franchise features the adventures of Nathan Drake as he hunts for treasure through exotic locations Last summer they hired Hitman 2 writer Kyle Ward to pen an adaptation even though Hitman 2 remains in development hell. However, Latino Review reports that Ward is out and Conan writers Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer are in to script an adaptation of the first Uncharted game, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.
While LR doesn’t reveal their source, we trust their info and it’s clear that Sony wants to fast-track the production to seize not only on video game adaptation-mania, but because of the popularity of Uncharted 2 which is being called the Best Video Game of 2009. Let’s just hope that Donnelly and Oppenheimer can get a good job done so we can move on to speculating and arguing about who should play protagonist (I say Nathan Fillion and so should you).
You would think that they’re $39 million return (it was $100 million worldwide but it’s weak to cite that when it comes to tallying box office success) on the $30 million adaptation of the videogame “Hitman” would dissaude Fox from making a sequel since reaction both among critics and fans of the game (the two do not overlap because critics do not play videogames; instead we enjoy fine wines and discuss the finer points of 18th century literature) was lukewarm at best. Despite casting the charismatic Timothy Olyphant as the genetically-engineered Agent 47, the film was stunningly dull with director Xavier Gens crafting flat set pieces that left you wondering if this was supposed to be an action movie.
But Fox is trying again and have brought screenwriter Kyle Ward (who also wrote the script based on “Kane & Lynch”, another videogame adaptation which mercifully hasn’t hit screens yet) on board for a new script based on the upcoming “Hitman” videogame due out in 2010, because if you need a great story, you can always look to videogames. The story would focus on 47 “building himself back up psychologically and physically to reclaim his mantle as the world’s most feared assassin.” I hope there’s a montage set to 80s music. Also, is there an assassin ranking system? Does he go online and check and see that he’s behind Agents 32, 10, and 98? Why would they make such a website? Because there’s a mantle and if everyone doesn’t know you’re an assassin, then what’s the point.
No word yet if Olyphant will return freshly shorn and ready to kill.