EA, Starz Animating Dead Space

Video-game giant Electronic Arts Inc. has teamed with Starz Media to develop an animated movie that will serve to bridge the gap between events that take place in the original comic book series Dead Space and the upcoming sci-fi/horror survival game of the same name. Both the film and the game are set to debut this Halloween. The companies also have animation projects in development for two other EA franchises.

The script for the Dead Space animated feature picks up where the comic book series ends and leads up to the beginning of the game. The story is set aboard a futuristic mining spaceship, the USG Ishimura, after a mysterious artifact is extracted from a remote dig site. The artifact triggers the sudden invasion of a long-dormant alien presence, and the Ishimura’s crewmembers find themselves locked in a frantic struggle to survive.

Animation will be overseen by Starz’ Film Roman, best known for its work on FOX’s primetime hits The Simpsons and King of the Hill, as well as the preschool favorite Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! Digital Tetra Inc. in Korea will serve as the overseas facility. The Gotham Group of Los Angeles helped put the production arrangement together.

Starz plans to debut the Dead Space movie on broadcast television before releasing it on DVD through its Anchor Bay home video unit. The company is in discussions with broadcasters worldwide, and will launch international sales at next month’s MIP-TV market in Cannes, France.

Under development at EA Redwood Shores, the Dead Space game is not yet rated. Given the nature of the horror genre, both it and the movie will likely cater more to adults. For more information about the game, go to www.deadspacegame.com.