Gears of War pic

Over a decade ago, talk of a Gears of War movie started. Ever since its announcement, some notable writers have come and gone from the project. Chris Morgan (The Fast and the Furious franchise), Stuart Beattie (Collateral), and Billy Ray (Shattered Glass) all took cracks at the video game adaptation. With the project alive again, and this time at Universal, a new writer has been tapped to adapt the property: Shane Salerno, who co-wrote the Avatar sequels, Armageddon, and Savages.

Below, learn more about the new Gears of War screenwriter.

Deadline reports Salerno, the founder of The Story Factory and director of Salinger, will write a new script not based on any of the games in the popular Microsoft franchise. For a while, there were discussions about making the film a prequel, set before the events of Emergence Day. That was the idea when the project was still at New Line, who Epic Game apparently had some creative disagreements with.

So whether Salerno’s script will have Marcus Fenix or Augustus Cole, we don’t know, but a Gears of War movie without them and the rest of Delta Squad would be a strange deviation from the games.

When the video game adaptation got set up at Universal, Rod Fergusson, the head of the game’s developer, The Coalition, said they’re trying to figure out what departures to make and how to remain faithful to the series:

If you have this great IP with a deep backstory and lots of lore that you can make interesting stories out of it’s great, but if you just go after the gaming audience then it isn’t going to be a successful movie. That’s one of the great things about working with Universal. We’re finding that line where we can say it has enough lore and canon that it feels genuine to the game while at the same time going beyond that and asking ‘OK what makes a great movie?’

The Gears of War movie hails from producers Scott Stuber (The Kingdom) and Dylan Clark (War for the Planet of the Apes). No director is currently attached. Director Len Wiseman (Underworld) developed the project for years; he wanted to make a big war movie before New Line slashed the budget. Let’s hope, unlike New Line, Universal has an easier time getting Gears of War off the ground because Gears of War could make for one big, scary, and intense war movie if done well.

Here is the official synopsis for the game?

Gears of War follows the soldiers of Delta Squad as they fight to save the human inhabitants of the fictional planet Sera from a relentless subterranean enemy known as The Locust Horde. The player assumes the role of Marcus Fenix, a former prisoner and war-hardened soldier. In cooperative play, the second player plays as Fenix’s friend and fellow soldier, Dominic Santiago (Dom). The two soldiers join up with Delta Squad and battle the Locust Horde through the course of an action-packed campaign.

When it comes to the Delta Squad, fans understandably wouldn’t mind seeing Dwayne Johnson and Terry Crews occupy some of those roles. After the premiere of American Gods, I could easily imagine Pablo Schreiber as a believable member of the squad, too. Maybe throw a Captain America-sized Chris Evans in there, and you got quite a talented and beefy group of individuals to take on the horde.

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