Development Begins on Feature Film Adaptation of Popular Video Game, ‘DayZ’

We are extremely excited to announce that we are beginning development on a movie adaptation of the popular video game, DayZ.

ScreenDaily broke the news in an exclusive article:

The deal to develop an adaptation of the hugely popular game was struck between CEO for Bohemia Interactive, Marek Spanel, Jay Sutherland of Face Fiction Productions, and Michael Ford of Infinite Wisdom Studios, who will all serve as Executive Producers on the film.

The cult classic video game is set in the fictional post-Soviet Republic of Chernarus, where a mysterious plague has turned most of the population into a violent zombie-like threat. As a survivor immune to the virus, players must scavenge the world for food, water, weapons, and medicine, while killing or avoiding the infected. But with only one life in the game, players are forced to do whatever it takes to survive, from stealing supplies to cannibalism. Players must choose whether to go it alone or forge alliances with others, as they discover that the other survivors may pose a greater threat than the infected.

Sutherland, fresh from the festival-debut of his post-apocalyptic short film, The Cold, approached Bohemia with the proposition in 2021: “As an avid fan of the video game, it was always apparent to me that the world of DayZ and its themes would provide the perfect foundation for a movie. The game offers genuine stakes and consequences for each player, and the opportunity to explore how a diverse ensemble of characters might behave and react in this environment is an exciting one”.

With a career spanning development, production and financing in film and television, Ford was drawn to the game’s unique lore in a well-trodden genre: “The idea that humanity can be scarier than the monsters is a great basis for a story. The game’s psychological themes of fear and trust, combined with its unique lore, will help the film stand out from other video game adaptations.”

Španěl (Bohemia Interactive) said: “As shown by the game’s community and content creators, anything can happen in DayZ. In approaching a film adaptation, it was crucial for us to find people that were fans of the game and truly understand its depth and uniqueness. We’re excited to see where this film project will take us”.

The stand-alone DayZ video game was officially released on PC in 2018 and on PlayStation and Xbox in 2019, after becoming a Top Seller on Steam with nearly 2 million copies sold in its first 4 months of release under Steam’s “Early Access” label. Today the fandom continues to grow, breaking its all-time high player peak twice in 2021 and again at the start of 2022, placing DayZ back in Steam’s Top Sellers Chart. Social platforms such as Twitch and YouTube continue to attract huge audiences with content creators even making their own in-game DayZ fan films, and racking up millions of online views.

The Producers intend to begin production as early as 2023 with plans for an international cast. They are currently packaging the film and aim to debut the title for sales in Q4 2022. Pitches from script writers are already being taken for the film.