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Despite the rather terrible history of big screen video game adaptations, yet another one is moving into active development, and, what's more, it has found a director. According to Deadline, Universal Pictures is now planning to move forward with a movie version of the 2010 Playstation 3/Xbox 360 game Dante's Inferno and have hired Evil Dead director Fede Alvarez to helm the project.
Based on the first third of Dante Alighieri’s classic epic poem, the video game changes the titular lead character into an Italian mercenary who returns home after years away fighting in the Third Crusade. Unfortunately, he is met with two crushing pieces of news: first, he learns that all of the mortal sins he committed during his time in battle wouldn't be forgiven, and that his one love, Beatrice, has been murdered and pulled down to hell. Unwilling to let her go, he decides to follow her into the underworld and try and rescue her soul, but in doing so becomes a pawn in the war between heaven and hell. In order to accomplish his mission he is armed with a deadly giant scythe as well as powers of the cross that will help him take down anything that stands in the way of his mission.
It's not said explicitly one way or the other in Deadline's article, I wonder if the selection of Alvarez as director is a suggestion that the adaptation will be R-rated, following in the footsteps of other video game movies like Doom, Silent Hill and Hitman. It was a restricted rating that allowed the filmmaker to truly go all out while making Evil Dead - his first feature - and that factor is what helped the movie be as successful as it was. Even if you missed the film when it was in theaters, you can get a taste of what Alvarez can do in the red band trailer below.
In the last couple of years we've noticed a drop in the number in the number of video game adaptations in the works outside of the Resident Evil franchise, but the genre seems to be making a bit of a comeback. In addition to Dante's Inferno, in the last year we've also heard about adaptations of Assassins Creed (starring Michael Fassbender), Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon (with Tom Hardy) and Deus X: Human Revolution, not to mention that at the start of next year we will see the release of Need For Speed starring Aaron Paul.
Following an original draft by Bruce McKenna, Universal has now hired Jay Basu (Monsters: Dark Continent) to work on the script. To get an idea of what to expect from the film below you will find one of the trailers that came out for the game: