Max Payne going to the movies

Fox turning Remedy and Rockstar's gritty shooter into a proper film noir--no cast or director is yet attached.

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It seems like hardly a week has gone by in 2005 without a movie studio scooping up the rights to a video game. To date, the year has seen deals to bring Halo, Hitman, American McGee's Alice, and others to the big screen.

This week, it was Max Payne's turn. The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that 20th Century Fox is bankrolling a film version of the gritty third-person shooter from Rockstar Games and Finnish developer Remedy. The studio has inked a deal with the production companies Collision Entertainment and Firm Films to produce the Payne adaptation, which had been previously linked to Dimension Films. Scott Faye (the upcoming The Reaper) and Julie Yorn (Formula 51) will produce the project, which currently has no cast, director, or release date.

Easily one of the most cinematic games of the last few years, Max Payne profiles the titular antihero, a modern-day New York undercover cop whose wife and baby daughter are brutally murdered. If that wasn't bad enough, Payne is also framed for a fellow cop's murder and becomes the subject of a massive manhunt by the police, the Mob, and a shadowy criminal organization. Besides sporting John Woo-style action and Matrix-esque bullet-time effects, the game also borrowed heavily from graphic novels, even using comic book-style storyboards in lieu of cutscenes.

The original Max Payne was released to rave reviews in 2001 for the PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox, and was followed by a sequel, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, on all three platforms in 2004. A Game Boy Advance version shipped in 2003. A third installment in the series is under development as well.

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