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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