Don't expect any direct crossovers or story continuations between the Gears of War games and the upcoming Gears of War movie. The film is set in an "alternate reality" separate from the mainline Gears of War video game series, and this is what could help it rise above the history of video game movies being mediocre or worse.
That's according to Rod Fergusson, the head of developer The Coalition. He said in an interview with IGN that the thought process behind making the Gears of War movie was that it "has to be a great movie first and a Gears movie second."
"Basically the way that we sort of reconciled that was, we said, 'Oh, the movie should be an alternate reality. It should not be dependent on the game story, nor should it influence the game story.'"
Fergusson has been repeating this line of thinking about the Gears of War movie for years now.
According to Fergusson, this setup allows the writing team to craft original ideas in an open framework. He said he's heard of other video game franchises that have approached movie writers with a "story Bible" that outlines in-depth rules for what the team can and cannot do. For the Gears of War movie, he took a different approach.
"When we did it, we were two pages. I was like, 'Here's two pages of thou shall nots and recommendations.' We want people to have the freedom to have new ideas and to take things differently," he explained.
The movie writers don't have total freedom, however, as Fergusson said the Gears of War movie should take place on the franchise's home planet of Sera. It also needs to feature "certain characters," according to IGN, which is probably a reference to Marcus Fenix.
The Gears of War movie has been in various stages of development for 12 years already. The Lord of the Rings studio New Line Cinema purchased the rights to make a movie based on the game originally back in 2007, but in October 2016, Microsoft confirmed that the Gears of War movie was in the works with Universal Pictures.
Guardians of the Galaxy actor Dave Bautista has said Marcus Fenix is his dream role, but as of yet no casting news has been announced. F. Scott Frazier (xXx: Return of Xander Cage) was hired to write a draft of the script in November 2018.
No director has been announced for the movie. The late Tony Scott, who directed Top Gun and Man On Fire, reportedly wanted to direct the Gears of War movie.
As for the Gears of War series, the next game is Gears 5 which launches in September for Xbox One and PC. At E3, Microsoft showed off a brand-new mode called Escape. You can see 10 minutes of gameplay from Escape in the video above.