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TORONTO — Lionsgate, ever on the lookout for properties with movie franchise potential, has optioned the film rights from video game publisher Deep Silver to develop a zombie picture inspired by the viral media sensation Dead Island.
Sean Daniel (The Mummy) and Stefan Sonnefeld will spearhead production through the Sean Daniel Company.
Jason Brown of The Sean Daniel Company and Missy Papageorge for Sonnenfeld’s Sunny Field Productions are executive producing, with Sarah Perlman serving as co-producer.
Alli Shearmur, Lionsgate’s president of motion picture production and development, will oversee the project at the studio with Jim Miller, senior vp of production and development.
The project, announced by Lionsgate motion picture group president Joe Drake, was preceded by a teaser trailer for the Dead Island video game in February 2011 that portrayed a family on a tropical island beset by a mysterious zombie outbreak.
The video game trailer grabbed around 10 million views after two days online, on its way to becoming a viral sensation.
The Dead Island video game from Deep Silver was released stateside on September 6th, and has sold over two million units to date.
Lionsgate is aiming at a Dead Island zombie genre picture that focuses on family ties and non-linear storytelling.
“This is exactly the type of property we’re looking to adapt at Lionsgate – it’s sophisticated, edgy, and a true elevation of a genre that we know and love. It also has built in brand recognition around the world, and franchise potential,” Drake said in a statement.
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