Gears Of War is one of Xbox’s best-selling franchises, so it’s no surprise that a movie adaptation of the console exclusive is on Hollywood’s radar. A third-person shooter set on an Earth-like planet hosting a war between humans and a reptilian mutant horde, it’s ripe for a big-screen, sci-fi extravaganza, right?
A Gears Of War movie has been planned since 2007, when New Line Cinema initially snatched the film rights. However, as with so many other video game properties optioned for big-screen makeovers, it has since spent an extended stint in the dreaded development hell.
In 2016, during a live launch event for Gears Of War 4, Rod Fergusson – who was head of Gears game studio The Coalition at the time – revealed that a movie was now in development at Universal Studios. However, he said that it was still early days for the project, and that there was no director or stars attached at that point.
Since then, things have been a bit quiet on the movie front. Will Gears Of War ever make it to the big screen? Here’s everything we know about the project so far.
Gears Of War movie cast
There are no stars signed on for the movie just yet, but one man has firmly planted himself on the casting director's radar. Wrestler-turned-actor Dave Bautista (Guardians Of The Galaxy, Spectre) is a self-confessed Gears fan and has said that playing franchise hero Marcus Fenix would be a “dream role”.
"I've been pursuing Gears Of War for years now," Bautista said in a Twitter Q&A with Gamespot a couple of years back. "I've been knocking on [the producers'] door and badgering them, and they are so sick of me. But, yes, Marcus Fenix is absolutely a dream role for me. I want that role."
The fact that Bautista was added as a playable character in 2019’s Gears 5 certainly can’t have harmed his chances…
Gears Of War movie plot
Last we heard, writer F Scott Frazier (xXx: Return Of Xander Cage) was penning the screenplay for the Gears movie. There’s no word on what it might be about just yet, but we imagine it’ll follow the basic plot of the games. Set on the planet Sera, the series follows human resistance fighters in their war against the Locust Horde – a race of subterranean creatures intent on eliminating mankind.
With five main games and a handful of spin-offs, as well as a number of franchise novels, a comic-book series and even a board game set in the universe, the filmmakers certainly aren’t short of source material. However, according to Fergusson, the Gears movie will take place outside of the games’ established canon in an “alternate reality”.
“In order for the movie to be successful, it has to be a great movie first and a Gears movie second,” he told IGN last summer. “I've heard of other franchises who come with this really large story bible. When we did it, we had two pages…of thou shalt nots and recommendations. We want people to have the freedom to have new ideas.”
Gears Of War movie release date
There’s been no official word on the project for a while now, so it's seemingly no closer to making the jump from development to production. A potential next-gen Gears 6 release for the Xbox Series X and Series S could kick it back into, erm, gear...but even that’s likely to be a couple of years away.
At least Bautista, if he is to be cast, isn’t short of work in the meantime – he has sci-fi epic Dune and Zack Snyder’s zombie flick Army Of The Dead up first, and will be soon gearing up (sorry) to step back into the boots of Drax the Destroyer in Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy 3.