When it rains, it pours: one day after the announcement of Midway Games' Fear & Respect, an urban action/adventure game, Paramount Pictures has announced that it will acquire the worldwide film rights to the title. Set in South Central Los Angeles, the game is being developed in collaboration with 2 Fast 2 Furious writer/director John Singleton. It is scheduled to launch in Q4 2005 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.
Last month, Paramount announced that it had optioned the film rights to the Midway remake of the classic arcade shooter Area 51, starring David Duchovny and Marilyn Manson. Christine Peters, producer of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, will produce both films.
It is worth noting that Paramount Pictures is the motion picture division of Viacom, the global media giant. In recent months, Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone has gone on a buying spree of Midway stock, and he now owns 73.6 percent of Midway's stock. He also appointed his daughter, Shari, as vice chairman of Midway's board earlier this year. Redstone's maneuvering has caused analysts to speculate that he is considering selling the company to Viacom. While nothing of that nature has happened yet, it appears that Sumner is already ramping up the synergy between the game and the film companies he controls.