Len Wiseman will direct New Line's GEARS OF WAR, based on Microsoft and Epic Games' hit video game, per VARIETY.
Chris Morgan is writing a new version of a script originally penned by Stuart Beattie. Morgan's credits include the upcoming WANTED from Universal and THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT.
Fans have been speculating for nearly a year that Wiseman would be selected; the game was featured in his most recent film LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD, but talks with New Line happened only in the past few months.
Wiseman will develop the story with Morgan. The two are also collaborating on the sci-fi action thriller SHELL GAME at Lakeshore Ent. and Columbia Pictures. Wiseman, who started out as art director on GODZILLA and INDEPENDENCE DAY, produced the third installment of Screen Gems' UNDERWORLD franchise after having directed the first two.
GEARS OF WAR revolves around a world reeling from an invasion of aliens known as the Locust and the small team of elite soldiers who fight to retake the planet Sera and save its human inhabitants.
New Line bought the rights to the game last year, with Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey producing under the Temple Hill banner. GEARS lead designer Cliff Bleszinski will exec producer and consult on its development for Epic.
Following, HALO, GEARS OF WAR is Microsoft's biggest seller. Epic always intended to branch the property into different media, like films and novels, with the extensive backstory it developed.
New Line had planned a summer 2009 release, but development on the project now will likely delay it.
"It's like with our games, you can have it right or have it right now," said Epic Games VP Mark Rein. "We want to get it right. There's no timetable for us. We just want to make as good a movie as we can, and we think (Wiseman's) the guy who will do it."
A sequel to GEARS OF WAR will ship in November. The first game, available for Xbox 360 exclusively, has sold more than five million copies since its 2006 release.