Dead Island Movie, Based on Awesome Trailer, Gets the Green Light

    September 27, 2011
    Josh Wolford

Remember that breathtaking reverse-action trailer for the zombie survival game Dead Island? It looks like it’s going to be the basis for an upcoming film from Lionsgate studios.

The films was discussed back in February when the now-famous trailer was revealed, but it lost traction. Today’s official announcement comes directly from Lionsgate.

Like the trailer that will serve as its primary creative inspiration, the film DEAD ISLAND will be an innovation of the zombie genre because of its focus on human emotion, family ties and non-linear storytelling.

I guess it’s refreshing to see a studio come out and just say that a trailer will serve as the primary inspiration for the film. It might be the first time a film was developed based on a three minute trailer, though.

The game itself was released back on September 6th to pretty universal acclaim. It’s a first person “shooter” with RPG elements like an experience system and weapons upgrading. The game relies heavily on melee weapons as opposed to guns and is fairly open-world in its progression.

The film wants to tell a “human” zombie story in a non-linear fashion, just like the trailer. Half of the official release today is spent praising the 3 minute reveal trailer –

Told in a stark, non-linear fashion, the wrenching trailer captured worldwide fan attention and unanimous critical praise upon its debut, receiving over one million hits in its first 24 hours online, and nearly 10 million views by two days after its debut. Wired Magazine, College Humor and G4TV all called it the best video game trailer of all time, with G4TV adding “The Dead Island trailer is the best trailer I have ever seen in my life. The best video game trailer. The best movie trailer. The best anything trailer.” The trailer went on to win the Golden Lion in Cannes at the International Festival of Creativity, the advertising industry’s highest honor, and it was featured by Adweek on their annual list of the World’s Best Commercials.

But it will still be a zombie film, even with the focus on “human emotions.” If the game itself is any indication, we will see our fair share of decapitations and spilling of entrails.

To be fair, that trailer is an amazing piece of art. And trust me, studios have relied on far thinner sources of inspiration for feature films.

The producer attached to the project, Sean Daniel, produced films like Tombstone and Dazed and Confused.

Alas, I get to embed the trailer in question –

What do you think? Could Dead Island be the next great zombie flick? The Memento of the zombie genre? Let us know in the comments.