Billy Ray Signs On For Gears of War

On Thursday, Variety shared the news that screenwriter Billy Ray (State of Play) was set to take on the real life story of Captain Richard Phillips, the man who was held captive by Somali pirates for five days earlier this year. As interesting as it would be to see Captain Phillips' dramatic escape brought to the big screen, there was a line at the bottom of the Variety article that was far more interesting: "He [Ray] is currently writing "Gears of War" for New Line."

Wait? Gears of War? Last time we heard, that movie was being written by the team of Len Wiseman (Underworld) and Chris Morgan (Wanted, Fast and Furious), with Wiseman as director. What happened? Brendon Connelly over at /Film speculates that Wiseman turned to Billy Ray after the duo worked successfully on the forthcoming film, Motorcade. Motorcade, if you'll recall from our previous coverage, has been in development for sometime with Tom Cruise as its originally intended star. The film will now feature Ryan Reynolds (he is everywhere nowadays!) and will not be directed by Wiseman, but by 24 director John Cassar.

So, what does Billy Ray bring to the table for Gears of War? Well, let's take a look at his track record thus far. To date, Ray has been the writer behind a number of successful thrillers, including Breach and State of Play. However, both of those films existed in the very realistic world of spies, betrayals, and myriad clandestine government activities. Gears of War is about the super bad-ass soldiers of Delta Squad who fight off the evil Locust Horde on the fictitious planet Sera. In other words, it's not exactly Ray's forte.

Does that mean the film won't be any good? Of course not. Does it mean there won't be any scenes of aliens being cut in half by machine gun/saws? Maybe yes, maybe no. All I know is that Billy Ray is a pretty good screenwriter with some solid movies under his belt. I'm hopeful that whatever he brings to the film can elevate Gears of War beyond a mere video game movie to something a bit more.

What do you think of the news that Billy Ray has come on to Gears of War? What would you like to see out of a Gears of War film more than anything else?

Source: Variety, /Film

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