Mark Fujii – CollegeNews.com
During Epic Games’ Gears of War Panel at Comic-Con 2009 in San Diego California, the director, Len Wiseman, and writer, Chris Morgan, of the upcoming film adaptation shared some details with fans about potential casting selections for the movie.
According to IGN, amongst the prospects to play Maria, the wife of one of the game’s protagonists, Dominic Santiago, Len Wiseman said he was interested in British actress Kate Beckinsale.
“If I can convince [Kate Beckinsale]—and I think I have a shot—I’d love to see that,” said Wiseman. He is also currently married to Beckinsale. Minor detail, that.
Though best known for her more dramatic roles in films like The Aviator and Pearl Harbor, Beckinsale is no stranger to making action flicks either. She starred in 2003 action movie Underworld as a sultry, leather clad vampire, and co-starred opposite Hugh Jackman in 2004’s Van Helsing.
However, contrary to Internet rumors that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would be starring in a Gears of War movie, Wiseman was quick to announce they were currently not pursuing the former WWE wrestler.
“A Doom connection would not be smart for us,” said Wiseman, referring to the 2005 film adaptation of the classic PC shooter franchise which was a box office flop. The Doom movie starred recognizable actors like Johnson and Karl Urban, but was scorned by critics and currently holds a Rotten Tomatoes rating of only 20%.
Wiseman said he wasn’t looking to “throw a bunch of strongmen into the ring and see who comes out victorious… I’m looking for an actor for the role and then put him into shape,” according to IGN.
Wiseman also added that he’s “always thinking who could play the best Marcus [the leading protagonist in Gears of War]. You want to get hooked into the character and then all the amazing spectacle.”
In addition to talking about some of the casting choices for Gears of War, the game’s executive producer, Rod Ferguson, talked about how they were taking steps to avoid the failures of past video game movies.
“You can be too tied to what is the game,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson then elaborated that creators “so oriented at grabbing the gaming audience, we don’t leave behind what shouldn’t be in the movie. We’re about making the best movie possible, not about making Gears of War the game into a movie” before adding that previous movie-game adaptations “haven’t been willing to let go.”
According to Ferguson, Epic Games, developers of the Gears of War video game series gave the film’s director and writer “basic stuff that are important” but otherwise only requested that Wiseman and Morgan “”make the best movie possible that fits [their] medium.”
One change that gamers could see in the movie that differs from the video game is the appearance of female COG soldiers. In the Gears of War video games, the cast is almost exclusively male. When asked if women soldiers would play a bigger part in the film than in the games, Wiseman said, “I’d love to see it happen. I’m a big supporter of that.”
Though a script or a firm plot has yet to be written out, Morgan told Comic-Con attendees that “Emergence Day is making its way into the film. That will be big.”
Emergence Day is a pivotal moment in the Gears of War video game’s storyline where an alien race called The Locust dig their way to the planet’s surface and begin waging war on humanity.
However, Emergence Day takes place before the events of the first Gears of War game, leading many to believe that the movie will be a prologue for the series rather than a sequel.
Len Wiseman’s last film as director was for Live Free or Die Hard; Morgan is known as the writer for the Angelina Jolie shooter Wanted.