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Devlin Charges Into Mech Movie

By Beth Hannan Rimmels

Dean Devlin (Independence Day) will produce a movie based on the best-selling Mech Warrior games.  Paramount Pictures is in negotiations to option the property from Wiz Kids, a Seattle-based game company, for Devlin's Electric Entertainment, which will develop a screenplay that Devlin will produce.

"Whether I write the script or help with the script or direct, I'm crazy about the material, and this is a real passion project for me," Devlin said.

Mech Warrior began life as a strategy game, then segwayed into role-playing games and is now a video game. It's set in a future where giant mechanical robots run by human pilots replace tanks, battleships and other military forces.

Devlin said that Eight Legged Freaks, which he produced for $30 million last year, was an experiment in putting almost all of a film's budget into special effects. Likewise, he said plan for Mech Warrior was to  make it look like a $150 million movie while spending less than $100 million.

"The type of CG we'd use for this movie, in which warriors battle in giant mechanized suits of armor, would be much easier to create than spiders," said Devlin. "We had 200 CG shots in Freaks, and I think we could get a lot more out of this film."