‘God Of War’ calls the writers of ‘Saw’ and ‘Pacific Rim’ to arms

I’m guessing every development executive in Los Angeles spent the long 4th of July weekend playing video games.  That’s the only explanation.

“God Of War” has been in the works as a movie for a while now through Atlas Entertainment, with Chuck Roven and Alex Gartner producing.  They originally had David Self attached as the film’s writer, but now it looks like Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan have been chosen to help get the film ready for production.

If you were a fan of “Project Greenlight,” then you remember Melton and Dunstan as the writers of “Feast.”  If you’re a horror movie fan, then you probably know them from their work on the “Saw” series.  And if you’re a development exec in town, you probably read their spec “Monstropolis,” and you know that they were brought in to do some of the production rewrites on Guillermo Del Toro’s upcoming “Pacific Rim.”

For those who don’t really understand the way writing credits work or how people get jobs based on films they only wrote part of, it’s all a matter of people learning what your strengths are.  Some guys write great specs that get everyone excited about the potential for something, and while they aren’t great at the nuts and bolts work of pinning down a shooting draft with a director, their work is good enough to kickstart these big movies.  Other people get a reputation as a “closer,” someone you bring in to help break the budget down, to help craft something that can actually be shot at the right price, and to work directly with the filmmaker.

In my experience, you want to be known as the closer, the one who can get a film in front of the camera.  It’s good at the studio level, it’s good because filmmakers feel like you’re someone they trust, and it’s good because it puts you on the set during production.  Obviously, anytime you get work, it’s a good thing, but Melton and Dunstan are building a rep for themselves as good people to have on a project when the pressure is on, and that’s a great place to be.

“God Of War,” for those unfamiliar with the game, is a series about a Spartan warrior named Kratos who goes on huge quests against magical foes and some of the great monsters of mythology, driven by personal tragedy and a desire to destroy the gods of the ancient world.  Big, wild, bold stuff, and the games are full of ideas and imagery that could well inspire a big tentpole epic adventure.

We’ll keep our ears open for word about how this one comes together.