Fear Effect film plans updated

<i>Supercop</i> director Stanley Tong in talks to bring franchise to the big screen; <i>Hollywood Reporter</i> claims next-gen sequel in works.

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In the mid-1990s, Miramax Films subsidiary Dimension Films began rereleasing Jackie Chan action-comedies in hundreds of theaters across North America. Though dubbed in English, films such as Rumble in the Bronx, Supercop, and First Strike were all solid hits, and helped make Chan a bona fide star in the US.

The director of all three aforementioned films, former stuntman Stanley Tong, found himself beset with offers to direct Hollywood blockbusters. However, his first--and so far only--Western film, the 1997 Leslie Nielsen comedy Mr. Magoo, was excoriated by critics. Since then, Tong has only directed two Hong Kong films, preferring to produce instead.

Now, however, Tong may be on the verge of his second Hollywood effort, thanks to an upcoming game adaptation. Today's Hollywood Reporter claims that Tong is in talks to bring the 2000 PlayStation title Fear Effect to the big screen. The news will be a relief to fans of the series, as it means infamous filmmaker Uwe Boll's Fear Effect project is apparently no longer in the offing.

According to the Reporter, part of the reason Tong is being considered to direct is the film's primary location of Hong Kong, his former stomping ground. The film is being given a lower-end budget of around $25 million, and will begin shooting later this year for a 2008 release.

At the end of the article, the Reporter almost nonchalantly mentions that "Eidos is developing a third Fear Effect game for next-generation consoles." No specific platforms were mentioned, though no Fear Effect title has ever been developed for a non-Sony platform. Eidos reps, however, denied any such project was in development.

Published by Eidos and developed by Kronos Digital, Fear Effect drew praise for its detailed near-future storyline, which concerned a trio of mercenaries trying to recover a Chinese business magnate's kidnapped daughter. It spawned a sequel, Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix, in 2001. A PlayStation 2 entry into the series, Fear Effect: Inferno, was canceled in 2003.

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