Screenwriters Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton are two busy guys. For one thing, the pair - who wrote the last four Saw films as well as this summer's Piranha 3DD - are currently preparing for the premiere of The Collection, the sequel to their cult 2009 horror film, The Collector.
Then, there are the half dozen other projects the two are involved with, including the God of War adaptation and Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim. We recently had the opportunity to talk with both Dunstan and Melton at Chicago's "Days of the Dead" convention. During our conversation, I peppered the pair with questions about the many projects they have in development.
According to Dunstan, the pair are currently "in the trenches" on adapting the popular video game God of War for the big screen and things are going well.
Dunstan: "It’s bad ass. It’s been so fun. Working with that team, they have been just so supportive. They want to get this movie to the screen, so we have been doing our part and we’re very much in the trenches right now delivering page after page after page to make that a reality."
When asked about how God of War might compare to other similar "swords and sandals" epics that have come out recently (including The Immortals and both Clash of the Titans and Wrath of the Titans), Dunstan diplomatically said that God of War was "being made to be vastly different," with the implicit meaning that it would be better than those films.
Dunstan and Melton also talked about their work on Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim and what fans should expect from the soon-to-be-released trailer. (Spoiler: They were pretty excited about it.)
Dunstan: "We were given a teaser the first day we showed up on set. One set, which is as big as a football stadium, had a robot foot. Then Mr. Del Toro showed us 10 seconds of a fight between the entities of the future and the creatures of his imagination and it’s like, "Okay, the summer is now owned.'"
Dunstan and Melton are also working with Legendary Pictures on rewriting the script for the sci-fi film Waterproof, which is described as follows: "a teen boy accidentally unleashes monsters on his small town after finding an order form in an old comic book."
MD: It’s rebuilding from childhood up and coming from an era, like Poltergeist, where the terror was legit and the adults were very real and the kids were smart and talked like kids. It’s got to come from there.
PM: It’s Goonies as told by Stephen King. And it’s with Legendary who make big, cool genre movies.
The duo also shed some light on the status of MGM's adaptation of The Outer Limits, which they were hired to write a few years ago. Dunstan said that, "hopefully in some universe" the movie could be made, but the project is currently dead - which is no surprise since it was put into production during MGM's bankruptcy fiasco.
Dunstan and Melton also talked about the script for the sci-fi film Rise, for which the plot is still under wraps, as well as the adaptation of their first novel Black Light - a horror thriller about a medium who can literally consume spirits from the Blacklight (a sort-of netherworld where ghosts and other malevolent spirits roam free).
MD: Rise is at the script stage. The director is doing some badass tests on it right now for special effects and some for performance and whatnot. It’s really cool to see if we can cut the edge of cutting edge.
PM: [Re: Black Light] We’re in the process of adapting that with Michael De Luca, who did The Social Network and Moneyball.
MD: I was watching Moneyball for the seventh time when we got a call that Mike De Luca read Black Light and wants to do it. We were like, "Yes."
Fans of Stephen King's The Dead Zone will be happy to know that Dunstan and Melton drew inspiration from that novel for Black Light.
For more insight into what Dunstan and Melton are working on, listen to this week's Screen Rant Underground podcast, which features Dunstan as a special guest.
Also, check back later this week for our interview with the pair about The Collection, which will be in theaters on November 30, 2012.