Buffy to play Alice

Sarah Michelle Gellar signs on to the long-in-development film adaptation of American McGee's twisted fantasy game.

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Sarah Michelle Gellar is already an icon among many gamers for her title role on the cult television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its popular game spin-offs. Now it looks like the actress's acumen with the demographic is set to increase further.

According to today's issues of both Variety (subscription required) and the Hollywood Reporter, Gellar has signed on to play the lead in Alice, the film based on American McGee's Alice. Published by Electronic Arts, the semi-infamous 2000 PC game was the eponymous designer's own twisted take on Lewis Carroll's famed children's story, Alice in Wonderland.

The story of bringing American McGee's Alice to the big screen has been a saga unto itself. The project has been in development limbo since 2000, when Dimension Films bought the movie rights for Wes Craven (Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street) to direct. The film spent the next five years in turnaround at the Disney-owned and Bob Weinstein-run studio, with unconfirmed reports saying Milla Jovovich would star.

As it turns out, Universal Pictures is now bankrolling Alice, with German-born director Marcus Nispel (the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake) at the helm. According to Variety, the film will adhere to the game's story, which sees a mentally traumatized Alice navigating a dark "Wonderland" inhabited by nightmarish creatures. No production start or release date was announced.

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