Dead Island’s February 2011 trailer (available below) struck a chord in a genre well trodden by games and movies. It got more than 1 million views in 24 hours, sending buzz for the Deep Silver project through the roof. The trailer also won the Golden Lion at Cannes International Festival of Creativity, a prestigious advertising award.
Gamers and critics weren’t alone in enjoying the trailer. Hollywood bigwigs saw what they hope can be a horror movie sensation. Lionsgate won the battle to make a Dead Island movie, which Sean Daniel of The Mummy fame will produce. He acquired the rights back in 2009.
The game tells the story of a zombie outbreak on a beautiful island resort. Four strangers who find themselves immune to the outbreak join forces and try to survive. They help other people trapped in the outbreak, taking on sidequests in a game that has been described as a mix of Fallout and Left 4 Dead. It has sold 2 million copies so far, so if the movie is well done the audience for it should be there. Lionsgate is well aware of the success enjoyed by the Resident Evil films. They’ve used the seemingly eternal popularity of zombies to become the most profitable game-based movie franchise in history.
In an interesting note, Lionsgate’s press release sounds as if the trailer, not the game, will serve as the movie’s inspiration. The promotional materials talk about “family ties” although the unlucky vacationers in the trailer don’t actually appear in the game. That in and of itself isn’t necessarily a deal breaker. Resident Evil and its sequels give only supporting roles to characters such as Chris Redfield, who are staples of the video game storylines.
What do you think? Is a Dead Island movie going to shamble to box office paydirt or is this adaptation dead on arrival?