Last fall, when word got out that New Line Cinema was developing an action movie based on the 1980s arcade game Rampage, our own Eric Eisenberg was less than optimistic about the project. He argued that such dated material lacked the visual panache or compelling storylines that could be used for a successful adaptation. However, there's now some cause for optimism as the Warner Bros. subsidiary has hired up-and-coming screenwriter Ryan Engle to adapt the property into an epic adventure in the vein of Independence Day.

THR notes Engle earned buzz about Hollywood when his original thriller On a Clear Day nabbed a spot on the 2011 Black List, the collection of the industry's most popular unproduced screenplays. The enticing script is presently being groomed for director Jaume Collet-Sera (Unknown), and Engle has inked an overall deal with Intrepid Pictures, which has inspired the heralded scribe to walk away from his career as an exec at Kopelson Entertainment to pursue his muse full-time. In the instance of Rampage, his muse will need to involve monsters and catastrophic property damage.

Final Destination 5 producer John Rickard will shepherd the feature through production, and while the script is still unwritten, we can predict some aspects based on the source material. Rampage featured three massive monsters: George the poor man's King Kong, Lizzie the Godzilla-like dinosaur, and Ralph the enormous werewolf. In the game, players picked a monster then battled each other amid an urban backdrop while stomping on pedestrians, turning buildings to rubble, and slapping away assaulting military vehicles from tanks to helicopters. The brawling brutes were once human and were mutated thanks to DNA-bending freak accidents.

This science gone awry premise coupled with New Line's hopes of Independence Day-styled action sequences sounds like a great recipe for a rollicking adventure. Add to that a capable action flick producer and screenwriter whose already being heralded for his thriller savvy and you've got a Rampage I'm game for.
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