As you may have already heard, the hit video game series Dead Rising is being made into a full-length movie! Everyone knows that zombies are the biggest pop culture craze out there right now, and with popular zombie TV shows becoming video games (The Walking Dead), the natural next step is to try to bridge that gap from the other side. While rumors have been flying around about the smash hit zombie hack and slash making the transition from console to cinema for quite some time, we finally have some concrete information to drool over.
Zack Lipovsky, who made his feature film directing debut fairly recently with Leprechaun: Origins, has been called upon to direct the Dead Rising movie. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Great, another cookie-cutter zombie movie,” but Lipovsky believes that the game series brings opportunities to have some new ideas and concepts implemented into what we know about zombie movies. One concept that Lipovsky finds himself intrigued with is the whole idea that a person can be bitten by a zombie and avoid becoming a brain munching fiend themselves with a series of injections, as long as they are repeatedly administered within a certain window of time. This, of course, is referencing the Zombrex injections from the Dead Rising series. Another concept from the game that Lipovsky believes will bring some new energy into zombie cinema, is the fact that the infected area, in the game, is quarantined and blocked off from the rest of the world and left to sort itself out while people tune in to the carnage from their TV’s at home. The idea of a sort of controlled zombie outbreak has been toyed with in past zombie movies, but not really on the level of being a broadcasted form of entertainment for the public.
While all of the familiar elements from the game series will be present in the movie, Lipovsky has stated that the movie will not be a direct adaptation of one of the games. This means that there will be a new group of characters, in a new city, following a new outbreak of the zombie infection. However, the movie does fit into the overall narrative of the video game series, since the events are supposed to take place between the second and third game. As for the overall tone of the movie, Lipovsky has described his vision as “Indiana Jones with Zombies” which promises to bring the drama, as well as the comedic undertones that the Dead Rising game has always drafted upon. Honestly, how could you not include some laughter in an adaptation of a game where the main character can be dressed as Blanka from Street Fighter, while laying down suppressive fire on the zombie hordes with a dildo launcher?
A short cast list has also been released that includes actors such as Jesse Metcalfe from John Tucker Must Die and Meghan Ory from Once Upon a Time. The movie is set to be a digital release, meaning it won’t be in theaters and may not be offered on DVD/Blu-Ray right away, or ever for that matter. The budget also won’t be anything close to a Scorsese film, which could turn out to be a major bummer considering the heavy reliance of special effects that the zombie movie genre is known for. Historically speaking, the straight to digital release zombie titles have never been known to put us in that jaw dropping state of awe that some of the higher budget movies like Dawn of the Dead or 28 Weeks Later have in the past. But let’s not put the nail in the coffin (hehe) on the Dead Rising movie just yet; considering the fact that some of the major releases in the genre with massive budgets and all-star casts have been utter disasters, and some of the underdogs of the zombie movie canon have turned out to be some of my favorites, I think it’s safe to say that the Dead Rising movie could turn out to be one of the greats.
- Mortal Kombat: Legacy producer Tim Carter wrote the script, which “revolves around a zombie outbreak, and the pursuit of the root of the epidemic when a government vaccine fails to stop the infection.”
- The movie will start shooting on September 30th in Vancouver.
- The 90-minute digital feature film will premiere exclusively on Crackle in the US and will be distributed internationally in both episodic and feature format by Content Media Corp.
- Dead Rising will also be released on SVOD, DVD, VOD and TV after its run on Crackle.