DJ Caruso, director of Disturbia and Eagle Eye (and currently reported to be working on Y: The Last Man) has signed on to direct a movie of the EA sci-fi zombie horror videogame Dead Space, according to Variety.
Dead Space takes place on a mining ship infested by reanimated human corpses called Necromorphs. It’s a third-person shooter using that over-the-shoulder perspective seen in the likes of Resident Evil 4 and 5 and Gears of War. Its Alien-like plot hook is that the zombifications began when something was brought back to the ship from an off-limits planet.
But the game is much more like Paul WS Anderson’s Event Horizon, with the artefact triggering violent hysteria among the ship’s crew, and the player piecing this back-story together through the discovery of ship logs and audio recordings.
An animated prequel to the game, Dead Space: Downfall, was released to DVD last year. A game sequel, Dead Space: Extraction, is in development.
The game itself is decent enough, but it’s very obviously a tribute to the films mentioned above, plus any number of other sci-fi and horror sources, filmic and literary. The player’s character is called Isaac Clarke. From Asimov and Arthur C. Do you see? Translating it from a game back to a single film is going to be a tricky prospect if Caruso doesn’t want it to seem completely derivative.
He managed to make a silk purse from the potential sow’s ear of a teen Rear Window remake however, so I’m cautiously optimistic that he might find a similarly clever spin here.