Bruce Willis leading man’s fight against the locust horde? Probably not, but the Die Hard franchise leading man’s latest director will be behind the camera as “Gears of War” heads for the big screen.
Len Wiseman, director of the latest “Die Hard” movie, will take on the task of turning Epic Games’ “Gears of War” video game into a Hollywood project.
"He’s amazing," said Epic spokesperson Dana Cowley about Wiseman. "We are thrilled to have him."
News of Wiseman’s selection broke in Hollywood even before Epic could prepare a formal announcement. As owner of the Gears franchise, Epic had a say in picking who would direct the film, Cowley said.
Overseeing the project for Epic will be Cliff Bleszinski, one of the game’s creators. Bleszinski is listed as one of the movie’s executive producers.
New Line Cinema is backing the Gears project that will seek to monetize the 4.7-million copy game into big screen entertainment. Wiseman’s “Live Free or Die Hard” earned more than $130 million. The Gears movie is expected to be released in the summer of 2009. New Line won rights to Gears through an auction last year.
Chris Morgan, the screenwriter for the upcoming “The Fast and the Furious 4,” will write the screenplay.
Epic launched Gears in November 2006 and is currently creating a sequel.
Bleszinski told the Hollywood Reporter that turning Gears into a movie wouldn’t be easy. Most Hollywood efforts in the genre have failed to be commercial or artistic successes.
"Hollywood needs to take the source material seriously, win over the avid gamers and make it work for an audience that is young and old, male and female,” Bleszinki said, although he noted that goal would be difficult to achieve.
“Disney made a great movie out of a theme park ride, and somebody is sooner or later going to make a great one out of a video game," Bleszinski said. "Having someone like Len really helps the odds. I think we’re going to create something special here."
Wiseman also worked with the “Underworld” films. He and Morgan worked together on the sci-fi movie “Shell Game.”