According to Variety, New Line Cinema has purchased the movie rights to Gears of War, currently the most popular game for the XBOX 360.

“Gears” centers on the story of Marcus Fenix, a former soldier (or COG), imprisoned for dereliction of duty after he left his unit in an attempt to save his father, himself a highly respected former soldier. Humankind on the planet Sera has retreated to a small plateau, fortifying its defenses against the Locusts, a proto-humanlike creature overrunning the planet from beneath the surface. Fenix is called on, from his prison cell no less, to put his body armor back on and save the world from the Locust Horde.

Not sure what to make of this one. On the one hand, the failure of aHalo film to materialize, mostly due to corporate squabbling, would seem to present an ideal opportunity for “Gears” to step front and center into the limelight. The lack of a truly strong film based on a video game gives “Gears” the chance to shine. At last word, the film is to be developed by the team responsible for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy. That bodes well for this potential franchise. “Pirates” is a great example of an entertainment vehicle (in this case, a Disney ride) done right.

However, it does have some drawbacks. The backstory for “Gears” is extensive, and would need to be explained in order to add dimensional weight to the characters and the situation. Video game movies don’t usually want to take the time in doing that, opting instead to get to the action as soon as possible. Consequently, what you usually get is a watered down, hard to follow, lame as heck version of a good story (i.e. Final Fantasy, Wing Commander).

My advice to the developers and creators of “Gears”, do it right. The reason for “Halo’s” stalling was because its producer, Mr. Peter Jackson of “Lord of the Rings” fame, would not bow to requests by the studios to make the script leaner, to dumb it down. His response, ‘fine. If you’re not going to let me make it right, I’m not going to make it at all.’ Fortunately, he’s got the millions in his wallet needed to have that kind of freedom. Still, it’s the right sentiment. Too often, studios make films on the hot properties without wanting to make good movies. Aeon Flux is a perfect example. Here you have a great kernel of a story from a truly innovative (for the time) cartoon on MTV. You’ve got one of the world’s best and hottest young actresses in Charlize Theron (an Oscar winner, for crying out loud) in the lead. Then, you proceed to make shlock. Pure, unadultered shlock.

“Gears”, I hope it works out, I really do. There’s a good story to be made here. Just do it right.

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