Who Do Voodoo? Dead Island Movie Looms

By Alec Meer on September 27th, 2011 at 7:06 pm.

George Clooney's playing fourth from the left
The internet is littered with the rotting corpse-stories of ‘game x optioned for movie’, so many of such headlines failing to come true, Hollywood executives’ frothing plans simply ending up mired in cinematic red tape for years to come or Uwe Boll somehow getting his hands on the license. Perhaps Dead Island is destined for a similar fate, today bringing news that Lionsgate plan to bring its foul-mouthed tale of holidayers versus zombies to the silver screen – but the hullabaloo over that trailer might sharply increase the odds of something actually happening.

Lionsgate boss and, going on that name, probably a part-time superhero, Joe Drake claims to be rather taken with the CGI short’s “human emotion, family ties and non-linear storytelling.” He also calls it edgy, and thinks the ‘edgy’ vignette has “franchise potential.” Everything has franchise potential, man. Even the story of my cat eating her dinner has franchise potential – watch out for the exciting sequel, My Cat Eats Her Breakfast.

What of the game itself? Will that get much of a narrative look in, or it it all about a girl flying backwards through a window? Anyway! A raft of people who’ve worked on blockbusters both horrible and tolerable are attached in nebulous producing roles, but no sign of a director or screenwriter as yet.

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55 Comments »

  1. pakoito says:

    So after a lot of debating we all agree that the game is not that good, right?

    Now, I wouldn’t mind 90 minutes of zombie-bashing cutscene. They’ve already proven themselves as good storytellers in that trailer.

    • Riztro says:

      And disproven it again in the game.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      No, we certainly don’t.

      The game was pretty damn fun and a good use of £30.

    • pakoito says:

      Which over-stereotyped character did you pick, Alexander? The negro, asian ninja, white trash or black panthers chick?

    • Riztro says:

      The game is brilliant. The story however is poorly written, acted and paced. Compared with either l4d storywise, it’s less moving despite trying much harder.

    • Tei says:

      The game is great,and brilliant at times. I may accept some animations are rought, and the last parts are somewhat a boring corridor, but thats is.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      great game.
      i think i’m 25 hrs in so far and loving it.(60% thru).
      shitloads of side quests which mostly end up left but the main quests not bad, but the size of the game along with great combat variety is wot makes it so much damn fun.

    • Metonymy says:

      I spent about an hour fixing up the graphics, and modifying the player movement and weapons, so that it was exactly like Doom 1. I figure, no matter how bad it is, running around and slaying zombies old-school style can rescue anything.

      But no, I still didn’t like it. Great premise but the combat was unbearable. It’s like there are no actual game designers, they’re just picking someone at random and telling them, “Ok, copy the least significant elements from this other game that made money.”

    • Kryopsis says:

      While I found Dead Island to be a very enjoyable game, comparable in fact to Dead Rising, it’s worth noting that Techland had very little to do with the trailer.
      http://www.axisanimation.com/index.php?id=2&loc=Work

    • Ruffian says:

      I agree with Norris. I like it.

    • malkav11 says:

      I’m loving it, and absolutely disagree with any assertion that the combat is bad. It’s fantastic. Easily the most enjoyable part of a game that’s not too shabby in most other respects. This is the sort of visceral combat that I think Bethesda wanted to bring to Oblivion but failed miserably at achieving.

    • Bensam123 says:

      I agree with the OP. It’s just Dead Rising with coop or maybe L4D with a more freeform environment, although heavily consolized.

      Inventory sucks, there is no reason to have a bank (yet you still do), the best way to play the blunt weapons guy is by charging through zombies then curb stomping all the ones that are on the ground, the ‘specials’ are almost as plentiful as the normal zombies, the normal zombies pose almost no risk, the ‘freeform’ environment is quite linear when it comes down to it, it was a terrible port in terms of bugginess (try playing the game with a 5.1 system on a PC), mods are genuinely bland or outright stupid… especially ones that end up getting you killed, how do you turn off VoiP?!?!, why do I hear a kid crying in the background when I join a random game and the person sitting at the computer doesn’t know they have their mic on?, the multiplayer is atrocious especially if you want to play with friends, it has a retarded dynamic leveling system so you never actually get more powerful then the zombies, the characters are all mundane and cliche knock offs, not being able to use your weapons because they break so easy is retarded (it defeats the purpose of having a weapon), replacing a sledgehammer with a stick that’s three level higher is retarded, the gun selection sucks, the guns don’t even function remotely like they would in real life, the online play is laggy, the game on high settings suffers from huge conslization despite being really pretty (overdone LoD reduction), driving physics are terrible, the animations for character are glitchy, loot disappearing when teammates approach, loot glitching through the world, there are end all mods instead of a system where you can pick and choose which you like, cash is almost worthless, lock picking IS worthless as locked chests don’t drop anything different from normal chests (despite requiring 1-3 lock picking), the skill trees are cliche and mundane, the skill trees don’t add that much to gameplay except for your ‘special’, which is usually just some form of instant kill for all classes, hand to hand combat sucks…

      Really… you guys think this game’s awesome? What have you honestly been playing for the last few years…? oh… I suppose that’s why people say this game is so awesome.

      Honestly, L4D was smaller, but definitely more concise and well executed. This just feels like a half baked consolized zombie shooter and the only reason I’m still playing it is because there is nothing else to play and I probably wont again after my friends and I finish the campaign.

    • Spazzo says:

      The game is terrible, but it is also a whole lot of fun.

    • Veeskers says:

      The game has many flaws including a couple of really nasty inventory bugs, porting issues and leveling, but the melee combat is very good and it’s nice to have a nice open world zombie game for once, even if it could be much improved.
      If you think the melee combat in this is terrible, perhaps you’re not aware of dodging, jumpkicking, pushing, targeting specific bodyparts, weapon qualities, and so on- or maybe you’re not happy to have a first person fighting game that isn’t stuffed full of canned takedown animations and third person camera cuts.
      I guess you can choose to go around spamming curbstomps everywhere, but you’re doing it to yourself then.
      Now, this is speaking as someone who uses the Xian character, not gonna try to vouch for the others.
      oh well, videogames

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      Genuinely couldn’t disagree with the OP more. I’m loving this game, I found the mod for analogue combat the other day which really mixes the game up a bit. Superb game, techland ought to be very pleased with themselves.

      (apart from the fact that the game won’t open if steam is in offline mode)

    • runtheplacered says:

      @pakoito,

      “The negro”

      Huh, apparently ‘a negro’ is a stereotype now. TIL.

  2. Jeremy says:

    Well, if they are in any way actually able to deliver on the premise of that trailer, it could end up being something pretty special. The reality is that an idea like that doesn’t just magically happen, and a bad actor, cheesy dialogue, etc. can easily destroy any credibility. Hope they stay true to the idea and look to genuinely capture the human emotion aspect of this.

  3. somini says:

    I like how they claim that the film will have non-linear storytelling…
    Choose-your-own-adventure?

    • PodX140 says:

      He meant non linear as in not A -> B. Like memento or, the dead island trailer.

  4. Zarunil says:

    Uwe Boll?

    • Premium User Badge

      Big Murray says:

      DON’T. SAY. THE NAME.

      Jesus …

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      I don’t know, I don’t think he is that bad…I thoroughly enjoyed Far Cry and Postal – I watch them when I want to relax. Oh and Darfur was pretty solid – it tells the story pretty nicely and the non-script impromptu dialogues work well…

    • Zarunil says:

      I shall go to church next Sunday and repent for my sins.

  5. Premium User Badge

    amishmonster says:

    I can’t wait for the sequel, My Cat Eats Her Breakfast 2 Fast. And the spinoff, My Cat Pukes Up Her Breakfast.

    • Torgen says:

      “I laughed, I cried, I fetched the paper towels to clean it up.”
      -Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I guess you haven’t seen the Garfield movies, then.

      (neither have I)

  6. fiddlesticks says:

    The power of vodoo!

  7. Unaco says:

    “Now go do… that voodoo… that you do… SO WELL!”

    Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.

  8. PodX140 says:

    Wouldn’t My Cat Eats Her Breakfast be a prequel, not a sequel?

    Unless of course you have My Cat Eats Her Midnight Snack to complete the epic trilogy.

    • Premium User Badge

      TheApologist says:

      Through the miracle of non-linear story telling it’s both! Wait, neither. Er…

  9. Rich Tea says:

    Just what the world needs; another zombie film.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Yep… I’m guessing something like Dawn of the Dead, except in a tropical resort. Oh and a kid might die in the first script, but the studio will override that idea.

      Actually I’d be pretty pumped if it’s as good as Dawn, but chances are slim. Having worked in a video store, I have unfortunately seen a lot of crappy zombie flicks. It can get pretty bad.

  10. bleeters says:

    Oh good. Zombies.

    Again.

    • runtheplacered says:

      I’m curious. Do you say this about every genre ever made? Or is it just zombie films that people aren’t allowed to make to many of? And why is that? Is it only because you don’t happen to appreciate it so therefore you don’t think zombie movies have a justifiable existence? Just curious. I really don’t understand when people say stuff like that.

  11. Navagon says:

    That video was very impressive. But it was never something you could make full length without losing damn near everything that made it as good as it was. So I hope they have more inspiration than that. Or this is going to suffer from being both a bad horror film and a bad game-based film.

  12. aldo_14 says:

    Wasn’t that trailer made by a completely separate company from the game?

  13. hungrytales says:

    If they hire Robert Del Naja aka 3D of Massive Attack to play the father figure from the trailer, there’s a chance I’ll watch it.

  14. Apocalypse 31 says:

    90-minutes of running errands for people that you don’t know?

    • sneetch says:

      Who then give you $43? For saving their life, really? $43? A can of coke costs $5 and that guy is trying to sell me a stick for $253! Tell you what, next time you go get your own insulin. Have fun with the zombies.

      I’m enjoying the game in co-op despite its flaws.

      If I wasn’t playing it co-op I doubt I could be bothered though. I think they could have done away with character levels and money entirely, neither add anything to the game. Instead they could have had earned XP unlock the skills without any arbitrary level being attached to them, free repairs and it would have been a better game for it.

  15. Felixader says:

    I am not holding my breath here.
    We have the trailer, no one can take that, so whatever Movie Guys, knock yourself out with the suppossedly next failed attempt to monetize on something that was special cause it was what it was when it was that the first time, by trying to make something entirely different out of it.

  16. Shooop says:

    The moment you hear someone use the word “edgy” when trying to describe something entertainment related you should punch that person in the groin repeatedly.

  17. Muzman says:

    So…what? They’re going to do the whole thing in backwards bits, sort of like Zombie Memento.
    The thing about that trailer was it had a cute gimmick to cover up a mundane zombie action set piece. Sure it was clever, for about two minutes. I have to wonder if they’re really planning on making a film on the strength of youtube hits alone. They must know that World War Z was in development purgatory forever and only just started shooting. That was a novel time shifting twist on the zombie story too. They only started shooting once all the novelty was removed.

  18. heavymetal4life says:

    Um this game had some launch issues given that, and few other game errors. Other then that the game play is endless fun, and level up galore!!! Co-op is what makes this game though, If it was single player it would of lost its flame REALLY fast.