It’s big screen game on

South Waikato News - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Gamers re­joice, Need for Speed is com­ing to a cin­ema near you.

The game, lauded for its life-like graph­ics, is com­ing to life af­ter all.

The Need for Speed se­ries, now up to its 16th edi­tion, is hugely pop­u­lar among gamers.

Users can choose from dif­fer­ent cars to race through re­al­is­tic, street-like set­tings but the se­ries has at­tracted con­tro­versy be­cause in some in­stal­ments it en­cour­ages gamers to ram other cars and po­lice ve­hi­cles.

The pop­u­lar EA video game fran­chise will be turned into a film se­ries by block­buster movie spe­cial­ists DreamWorks, which said it won’t fo­cus on any par­tic­u­lar sto­ry­line of the 16 games, sug­gest­ing the film will use the rac­ing games as in­spi­ra­tion.

DreamWorks has been re­spon­si­ble for box of­fice hits such as Shrek and Trans­form­ers, and com­pany chair­man Steven Spiel­berg de­scribes the new ven­ture as a ‘‘big piece of busi­ness’’.

‘‘I’m ex­cited about get­ting back into the creative trenches with John and Ge­orge Gatins and my part­ners at EA to bring to life an ex­hil­a­rat­ing script based on an epic video game that seems to have been made for the movies,’’ Spiel­berg said.

DreamWorks de­scribes the film adap­ta­tion as be­ing ‘‘a fast-paced, high-oc­tane film rooted in the tra­di­tion of the great car cul­ture films of the 70s while be­ing ex­tremely faith­ful to the spirit of the video game fran­chise’’.

The sto­ry­line has been de­vel­oped by broth­ers Ge­orge and John Gatins. Ge­orge is re­spon­si­ble for the screen­play, and John will pro­duce the film along­side Mark Sourian and the game de­vel­op­ment team from EA. The film will be di­rected by Scott Waugh, who has worked on films such as Spi­der- Man ( 2002), Bruce Almighty (2003) and Mrs Smith (2005).

The Need for Speed movie is due to start pro­duc­tion early in 2013 with an es­ti­mated re­lease in 2014.

The video game fran­chise is one of EA’s most suc­cess­ful with 140 mil­lion games sold world­wide and an es­ti­mated rev­enue of US$4bn ( NZ$5b) raised from the game se­ries

Mr and

NEED FOR SPEED: Movie due out in 2014.

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