SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, today announced that it has optioned film rights from Deep Silver to develop a feature inspired by Dead Island, which became a viral media sensation when its haunting, artful trailer launched in February 2011. The announcement was made by Lionsgate's co-COO and Motion Picture Group President Joe Drake.
Dead Island is a global brand first introduced through a teaser trailer that told the story of a family on vacation at a tropical resort who is besieged by zombies. 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.
The video game Dead Island was published by Deep Silver for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. It was released in the United States on September 6th, 2011 and was the number one selling game both in the U.S. and the U.K. upon its local releases. The game has sold over two million units to date.
The game centers on vacationers whose island paradise becomes a living hell when a zombie outbreak quickly spreads. Cut off from the rest of the world, the survivors have only the available materials and the island's natural "weapons" to protect themselves from the viscous and growing legions of the undead. In addition to the award-winning trailer and video game, the Dead Island intellectual property will be simultaneously developed by Deep Silver into forthcoming graphic novels, novels and other extensions.
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. Said Drake of the property's acquisition, "Like the hundreds of journalists and millions of fans who were so passionate and vocal about the Dead Island trailer, we too were awestruck." He continued, "This is exactly the type of property we're looking to adapt at Lionsgate – it's sophisticated, edgy, and a true elevation of a genre that we know and love. It also has built in brand recognition around the world, and franchise potential."
The film DEAD ISLAND is currently in the early development stage with producers attached. Sean Daniel (THE MUMMY, TOMBSTONE, DAZED AND CONFUSED) will spearhead production through his Sean Daniel Company. A veteran producer with global franchises under his belt, Daniel is to be joined in producing by Stefan Sonnenfeld, who has been a pioneer in the post production field, using the process as a platform to create a unique visual brand with directors including J.J. Abrams, Michael Bay and Gore Verbinski. Jason Brown of The Sean Daniel Company and Missy Papageorge for Sonnenfeld's Sunny Field Productions are executive producing, with Sarah Perlman of Sunny Field Productions serving as co-producer.
Alli Shearmur, Lionsgate's President of Motion Picture Production and Development is overseeing the project at the studio, with Jim Miller, SVP of Production and Development. Rob McEntegart, Senior EVP of Lionsgate's Motion Picture Group, negotiated the deal with Deep Silver's U.S. attorney Ed Labowitz.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution and new channel platforms. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of prime time cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming through Debmar-Mercury and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 15 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its prime time production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as "Mad Men", "Weeds" and "Nurse Jackie" along with the comedy "Blue Mountain State," the upcoming drama "Boss" and the syndication successes "Tyler Perry's House Of Payne", its spinoff "Meet The Browns", the upcoming "For Better or Worse," "The Wendy Williams Show" and "Are We There Yet?".
Its feature film business has generated more than half a billion dollars at the North American box office in the past year, fueled by such successes as THE LINCOLN LAWYER, TYLER PERRY'S MADEA'S BIG HAPPY FAMILY, THE EXPENDABLES, which was #1 at the North American box office for two weeks, THE LAST EXORCISM, TYLER PERRY'S WHY DID I GET MARRIED TOO?, KICK ASS and the critically-acclaimed PRECIOUS, which won two Academy Awards®. The Company's home entertainment business has grown to more than 8% market share and is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 13,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate brand remains synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
For more information visit www.lionsgate.com
About The Game "Dead Island"
Dead Island™, the gruesome zombie action game with RPG elements by renowned developer Techland, combines first-person action with a heavy focus on melee combat, character development and customization of a vast array of weapons. All of these gameplay features are presented in a dark story inspired by classic zombie movies with a gritty and engrossing campaign that can be played with up to four players in co-op mode.
Set in an open world tropical island, hordes of different festering zombies await players around every corner while they embark on a variety of thrilling missions through the holiday resort. With firearms and ammunition being scarce the player must rely on discovering and utilizing items as weapons for self-defense and fighting off zombie hordes in intense melee combat. A diverse range of items can be collected and will later serve to transform the player's ordinary makeshift weapons into serious instruments of destruction.
Dead Island was released worldwide for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC.
About Deep Silver
Deep Silver, a division of Koch Media GmbH, develops and distributes interactive games for all platforms. The Deep Silver label means to captivate all gamers who have a passion for thrilling gameplay in exciting game worlds. Deep Silver works with its partners to achieve a maximum of success while maintaining the highest possible quality, always focusing on what the customer desires. Deep Silver products are designed to equally appeal to pros and beginners, children and adults.
Deep Silver has published more than 100 games since 2003, including own brands like the action role-playing game Sacred 2: Fallen Angel, successful adventures such as the Secret Files series and Lost Horizon, the role-playing game Risen and well-known licenses like the Chernobyl shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clearwww.deepsilver.com
Koch Media is a leading producer and distributor of digital entertainment products (software, games and films). The company's own publishing activities, marketing and distribution extend throughout Europe and the USA. The Koch Media group has more than 15 years of experience in the digital media distribution business, and has risen to become the number one distributor in Europe. It has also formed strategic alliances with numerous games and software publishers: Capcom, Codemasters, Kaspersky Labs, Paradox Entertainment, Square Enix, Tecmo-Koei, and System 3 etc. in various European countries. With Headquarters in Planegg near Munich/Germany, Koch Media owns branches in Germany, England, France, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the Nordic regions, Benelux and the USA. www.kochmedia.com
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For further information, contact:
Lionsgate – Film Division
Kate Hubin Piliero
Lionsgate – Corporate Inquiries
Peter D. Wilkes