NEWS - Tuesday, April 8, 2003
Dead or Alive Game for Film DealLOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The "Dead or Alive" fighting video game franchise is coming to the big screen in a film described as "Charlie's Angels" meets "Enter the Dragon." The project, targeted for a fall 2004 release, is set up at Impact Pictures, which currently has video game-to-movie titles "Driver" and "Resident Evil 2" in the works. The $30 million movie will focus on four female fighters from Japanese video game publisher Tecmo's franchise and stay within the realm of reality, unlike Impact's "Mortal Kombat" movie, which was based on a violent video game heavily draped in mythology and fantasy. "I think the story ... is one that people will want to see even if it wasn't based on a video game. It's a fun popcorn film with action and humor," said Paul W.S. Anderson, who founded Impact with Jeremy Bolt and also directed the first "Mortal Kombat" film. The PG-13 film will feature different environments on the island and introduce a cast of characters fluent in various martial arts styles. The movie will focus on a half-dozen characters from the game, but additional characters will appear in the background. "The four voluptuous girls in the movie are invited by Fame Douglas to partake in the 'Dead or Alive' world fighting tournament on an exotic island," Bolt said. "Like we did with 'Resident Evil,' we will remain faithful to the essence of the game franchise but create an original story that will play to a broader audience." There will be also beach volleyball sequences with "babes in bikinis," according to Anderson, as the movie license also includes Tecmo's current Xbox best seller "Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball," a spinoff of its fighting franchise. No director has been named. Anderson, who also directed the original "Resident Evil," is not available because of his previous commitment for the other two Impact titles. Along with Bolt, he will serve as a producer. The "DOA" script is being written by J.F. Lawton ("Pretty Woman," "Under Siege"). The film's release date is expected to coincide with the video game release of "Dead or Alive 4." "Dead or Alive 3," an Xbox exclusive, has sold more than 1 million units worldwide, and the Mature-rated "Volleyball" spinoff is approaching sales of 500,000 worldwide, according to Tecmo marketing manager Tony Tarpey. Tecmo will release another spinoff, "Dead or Alive: Code Chronis," in the fall. Tarpey said the film will help expand the "DOA" audience beyond the gaming community.