The gears are moving on Netflix’s upcoming movie adaptation of Gears of War with the streamer pinning down a screenwriter for the project. The streamer has tapped Jon Spaihts to work up a screenplay for the live-action Gears of War movie, which they’re hoping to kick off an entire cinematic universe with.
Spaihts is no stranger to massive blockbuster pictures or adapting beloved franchises for the big screen. He’s best known for writing the screenplays for Doctor Strange and both Dune movies, with the first Dune netting him an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. One might argue that adapting Gears of War into a movie might be a challenge, but the man was able to get Dune to function on the big screen — so a game whose story fits neatly into plenty of cinematic conventions shouldn’t be that much of a problem at all for the screenwriter. In fact, Spaihts himself acknowledges the cinematic nature of the game.
“Gears of War is one of the all-time great action games, with vivid characters, a beautifully designed world, and a combat system that drives home the lethality of war and the importance of standing by your squadmates,” Spaihts said in a statement to Variety. “It wants to be cinema, and I’m thrilled to have the chance to help that happen.”
The film is said to be a pretty direct adaptation of the first video game, telling the tale of Delta Squad and its leader, the disgraced sergeant Marcus Fenix, as they battle the Locust and fight for humanity’s incredibly bulky and well-armored survival. Netflix, in partnership with The Coalition, won’t stop with the first game, however, as they plan to release an adult animated series after the movie and more films and other content after that, assuming it’s all a success.
That success isn’t exactly guaranteed. While the Gears fanbase is rapid and big guys shooting guns at aliens is a pretty consistent winner when it comes to genres, the Gears of War film has struggled to get off the ground for nearly two decades. The movie has been bounced around from studios and screenwriters with nothing to show for it. However, it does appear that Netflix is incredibly committed to it and looking to lay claim to another cinematic universe that it can call its own.