Gears of War has been a big hit on the Xbox since its inception, but to me it’s always seemed like kind of a disappointment. Not because the game isn’t good, I have no idea, what little gaming time I have is usually occupied by one game at a time. I’ve transitioned smoothly from Halo to Guitar Hero to Grand Theft Auto over the years, with few gaps in between for trying something new. So it has nothing to do with the game play, which I hear is spectacular. My problem is with the name.

Gears of War sounds like it should be some sort of clever title for a game about giant fighting mechs or super vehicles, or even a game about combat engineers. It’s an awesome title, and one that sounds like it ought to be attached to a much more clever concept than yet another military shooter. Sure this one is set on a fictional planet with soldiers fighting aliens, and I’m sure it’s fun, but it’s still just soldiers shooting whatever. While you can probably never have too many shooters in the videogame world, how many of these do we really need to turn into movies? Especially after Doom, that really should have killed the whole shooter to movie movement pretty much forever, and if that didn’t then you’d think last year’s Hitman would have been the nail in the coffin.

Unfortunately the shooter to film translations keep right on coming, and now the Gears of War movie is officially underway. HR says it’s being directed by Len Wiseman, whom you probably know as the director of the first two Underworld movies and Live Free or Die Hard, or maybe you know him as the guy who gets to sleep with Kate Beckinsale. Either way, he’s one lucky bastard.

Wiseman will be working from a screenplay by Chris Morgan, who most recently wrote the upcoming assassin thriller Wanted and also the still in development fourth Fast and the Furious movie. Back in March word was Stuart Beattie had been hired to write the script, but there’s no mention of him now, which must mean his take ended up in the trash.

It’s worth noting that the project is happening over at New Line Cinema, a studio which I think we’d all just about given up for dead after its parent company Warner Brothers fired all their employees and cast its ashes to the win. I guess they’re not quite dead. In fact, they may feel like going for a walk.

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