We should have all seen this coming. For years, books have been optioned before they ever hit shelves. Hannibal: Vegan? Not even left Harris' pen yet, and it's already a movie. I bought a copy in Chinatown over the weekend.
But now we've moved into the new age, where other forms of media become film properties based solely on a concept pitch, the rep of a publishing company and the haze of a three-mojito lunch with UTA and CAA. Eidos Interactive, which recently stank like the corpse of Lara Croft's reputation, has worked a deal that might (might) bring the upcoming video game Kane & Lynch: Dead Men to the screen, courtesy of Lionsgate. Never mind that only a handful of people have seen or played the PC/360/PS3 game, it was on the cover of Game Informer!
Kane & Lynch is Eidos' answer to EA's Army of Two -- a squad-based combat game that brings together two death row inmates, a mysterious mercenary organization called The Seven, and a lot of hugs. The game will be birthed later this year from IO Studios, the same folks responsible for Hitman, and therefore the same people behind Timothy Olyphant's new chrome dome. It's all starting to compute, isn't it?
What doesn't make sense: in talks to direct is Jieho Lee, soon to be known as the new Justin Lin. I haven't seen Lee's breakout indie The Air I Breathe, but it's got the most uniformly excellent word of mouth since Pan's Labyrinth, and it doesn't even have Doug Jones in it. Lee's writing partner Bob deRosa is scribbling one version of the Kane script, with another bet-hedging draft written simultaneously by Kyle Ward. May the 120 pages most like Con Air win!