Gears of hell

The Gears Of War adaptation is the latest videogame film to descend into the lower levels of development hell.

We’ve all been there – a film adaptation of a videogame is announced, and we all get excited. Then we get nervous – after all, the track record is more or less rubbish with these things. Will it live up to the hype? Will it be utterly pants? Will Uwe Boll direct? Then, it’s released, fans realise that it’s probably not going to affect their enjoyment of the game in the slightest, and they go back to the console versions.

Sometimes, however (alright, mostly), it’s announced and nothing ever happens. Other times it becomes increasingly unlikely to happen, as the news for Gears Of War seems to indicate. Len Wiseman has left the production after its budget was reportedly slashed in half, reducing from an “epic” to an “event” story. We don’t know what this means either, but anyway, here’s a small list of current films from videogames that look to be languishing in Dante’s preproduction inferno.

aliceAmerican McGee’s Alice

Tim Burton was apparently attached to direct this at one point, but given his latest release (Alice In Wonderland), it seems highly unlikely that he’ll be involved. In fact, given that release it’s hard to believe anything on this will go ahead any time soon.


This was a dead cert at one point, and it’s a shame to see that Gore Verbinski won’t be bringing us his own vision of Rapture any time soon. It’s not a total loss, however, they could get someone else with an equally creative streak in.

mass-effect-6434Mass Effect

Apparently, Ari Avad optioned the licence for this game a while back, but all has been suspiciously quiet on the Terminus front. Depending on how sales for the third and final game pan out (hint: large), this could still happen, but is there a huge cinemagoing market for it?


Enough tears have been shed over the what-if involvement of District 9 director Neill Blomkamp, and his amazing Landfall shorts, to keep the nation’s thirst at bay for a month. It’s not going to happen, unfortunately.


It’s not very likely that many people will be sad to see this one languish here for a while. The initial idea sounded more like a straight vampire film with a co-opting of the game franchise’s name. Nobody wants that.