Verbinski Plans Online Fantasy Role-Playing Film

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Universal and “Pirates of the Caribbean” director Gore Verbinski have acquired a 2007 Wall Street Journal article they will use as the basis for a film about the online fantasy role-playing world and its detrimental impact on the real lives of players.

Variety says Verbinski will develop the film as a directing vehicle; Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) will pen the script.

The article by Alexandra Alter focuses on a married man who spends as many as 20 hours a day on a computer, existing through an avatar who is a thriving, musclebound entrepreneur. In reality, he is a diabetic, chain-smoking 53-year-old.

Verbinski will produce with Alain Chabat, Stephanie Danan and Sarah Shepard of WAM Films.