Electronic Arts Inc. and Starz Media announced today the development of an animated movie prequel to the highly anticipated sci-fi survival horror game “Dead Space.” The companies also have animation projects in development for two other EA franchises. The relationship kicks off with this “Dead Space” prelude that will deliver new details on the horrifying tale the game will unleash this Halloween.
The script for the “Dead Space” animated feature picks up the plot where the original comic book series ends and leads up to the beginning of the “Dead Space” game. The story focuses on the events aboard a futuristic mining spaceship, the USG Ishimura, after it pulls a mysterious artifact from a remote dig site. The artifact triggers the sudden invasion of a long-dormant alien presence, and the Ishimura’s crewmembers find themselves locked in a frantic struggle to survive. The animated feature is slated to premiere at the same time as the game is launched.
This project signals both companies’ belief that mass-appeal games provide opportunities for new and exciting programming in a variety of different media. This announcement comes at a time when the video game industry is valued at more than $30 billion worldwide for packaged goods, wireless and online games in calendar year 2007 and game-inspired entertainment is pervasive in movie theaters, on TV and across online media.
Starz Media is currently in discussions with broadcasters worldwide that have already expressed interest in airing “Dead Space,” which is scheduled to be released via broadcast TV and then on DVD. The company will launch international sales of the animated feature at the upcoming MIP-TV market in Cannes, France. Starz Media will also market the movie through its home entertainment company Anchor Bay Entertainment, as well as via online and wireless distributors.
The deal with Starz Media and its animation unit Film Roman reflects EA’s growing commitment to developing filmed entertainment projects based on the company’s games. For Film Roman, the venerable animation company behind “The Simpsons,” “King of the Hill” and the pre-school hit “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!,” the booming video game business is fertile territory for developing new hit movies and series.
“Due to the richness and complexity of stories that have evolved for video games, they have become a type of entertainment that can span generations and provide fantastic inspiration for other forms of media; especially in the realm of animated features,” Film Roman President and COO Scott Greenberg said. “We’re particularly thrilled to be starting off with ‘Dead Space.'”
“We are really excited to be working with Film Roman to create an animated feature that will tell the portion of the ‘Dead Space’ saga between the comic and game,” said Glen Schofield, Executive Producer for “Dead Space.” “With the video game, comic book and now animated movie, ‘Dead Space’ has become a true multimedia brand. Each of these elements delivers the story to new audiences and tells it from different aspects and perspectives.”
Film Roman is producing “Dead Space” in alliance with Digital Tetra Inc., in Korea. The Gotham Group of Los Angeles, a leading animation representation company, helped put the production arrangement together.
Under development at EA Redwood Shores, “Dead Space” is not yet rated by PEGI or ESRB. For more information about the game, go to the official website.