For all their many faults, you can’t knock the studios of Hollywood for any lack of perseverance. No matter how many video game movies tank at the box-office, they’re just going to keep making them in the hopes that eventually, something will work. Having failed to synthesize an engaging cinematic experience from the act of shooting and/or beating the crap out of enemies over and over and over again, they’ve held out hope that one day, the millions of self-described gamers will get off the couch and make a hit out of some new tentpole. Will it work? Probably not, but it could, and that’s more than good enough for them!

The next would-be video game smash comes from Universal, an adaptation of the Gears of War series of shoot-’em-ups, and it recently made a big step. Deadline has the news that Universal and Microsoft have tapped Avatar writer Shane Salerno to draw up a script for the gestating project. The item specifies that the treatment will not specifically translate one game to the screen, but rather tell a broader story existing within the Gears of War universe. The film will be set on the fictitious planet Sera, where a crack team of gruff commandos battle an alien horde called Locusts in the flattened, post-apocalyptic remains of civilization. So, pretty much Starship Troopers without the satire. That sounds… fun?

The interplanetary action would make Salerno (who just finished writing the four Avatar sequels, if we’re willing to believe they actually exist) an ideal pick for the job, and his armed-combat background with the recent drug thriller Savages and Michael Bay’s Armageddon should factor in as well. Salerno’s first duty? Coming up with a better name than Marcus Fenix.

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