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Del Toro presses play on "Sundown" game

Hollywood Reporter May 5-7, 2006
by Chris Marlowe

Director-producer-writer Guillermo del Toro and Terminal Reality are co-developing "Sundown," an original video game in which players will have to survive an apocalypse that leaves the world infected with zombies and other potentially fatal horrors.

William Morris Video Games, a dedicated practice within the agency, brokered the deal on behalf of all parties. Titan Prods., the production company co-founded by Brad Foxhoven and David Wohl, is involved throughout the franchise. The property originated with Terminal Reality. Del Toro, who describes himself as a lifelong, avid gamer, said "Sundown" gives him the chance to express himself in a new way.

"I believe in the next 10 years narrative media is going to shift to a hybrid of video games and movies," he said. "This is a great opportunity for me to help be a bridge to what I believe is the future."

Although Del Toro is very focused on making the best game possible, he has the television and movie rights and said he can envision bringing the property to life in those media.

Terminal Reality, the home of the BloodRayne franchise, will develop the game for next-generation platforms. Terminal Reality creative director Drew Haworth said those new consoles provide more power and flexibility than was available ever before, yielding more potential for both artistic expression and creative gameplay.

Del Toro said being completely involved was important to him. "I don't want to be a name attached to a property that brings nothing new," he said. "We've been discussing how to do something with the audio and visual of a movie but without the limitations of scope."

Players will start as a typical person on an average day. As everything goes terribly wrong, in order to survive they must learn to form alliances with various beings and to change their role as each new challenge calls for different abilities. "We want to create a real beginning, middle and end to the game and to each set piece of the game too," del Toro said. "I want to make some of the atmospheric elements in the game very, very scary."

Exile Entertainment's Gary Unger manages del Toro, who recently changed to representation by ICM. Unger said that del Toro understands and loves games, which is an asset he brings to the project just as he brought his understanding of comics to the movie version of "Hellboy."

Foxhoven said the "Sundown" project epitomizes what Titan Prods. is all about. "Bringing such an extraordinary film director and visionary together with a top developer is exciting," he said. "To have them working with next-gen platforms will allow someone like Guillermo to really bring his stories to life as he envisions them."

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