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Hollywood Connection: EA signs Snyder

metue convergence gamesWhen Warner Brothers released the 300 in 2007, the views of critics and fans varied widely.  Some, like Richard Roeper, loved it.  He went so far as to call it "the "’Citizen Kane’ of graphic novels.’  Others like the Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern, or the New York Time’s A.O Scott, found the film almost utterly unredeeming; too violent and undeveloped.  The common ground, amongst a majority of views, was the visual effects.   That point wasn’t lost on the gaming industry.

In July, Ubisoft acquired Hybride Technologies, the special effects shop behind the film (and also Sin City).  Now, EA is tapping the 300’s director  Zack Snyder with a three game development deal.

Seemingly similar to a deal signed with Steven Spielberg in 2005, Snyder will help guide the development of three titles to be produced at EA’s Southern California Playa Vista studio.   Rights for all of the associated intellectual property will belong to Electronic Arts but if they choose to expand any of the titles into films, Snyder’s Cruel and Unusual Films production company will be attached.

Talent agency Creative Artists (CAA) advised Snyder in the deal.  EA may have received (unconfirmed) agency advice from UTA whom they partnered with in July.

With the deal, the relatively new Snyder, whose limited feature film credits (he’s done extensive commercial work) include Dawn of the Dead, 300, and the upcoming Watchman, will join an elite list of filmmakers actively working cross-medium in the gaming world.   His new peers include Steven Spielberg (EA), John Woo (Midway), Peter Jackson  (Microsoft via Wingnut Interactive) and Jerry Bruckheimer (Viacom/MTV).


The convergence of Hollywood and gaming is recurring theme that seems to be going deeper than simply shared story telling technique and effects. 

In July, Ubisoft’s CEO Yves Guillemot said “the future of [the gaming] industry depends on [studios] ability to create brands that captivate audiences and to extend those brands to other forms of entertainment.”

With EA’s newest steps, it appears he’s not alone in that view.  More on the increasingly overlap between film and game be found here or here.

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