For nearly a decade, Dead Space was dead in the water. Following a mixed reception by critics for Dead Space 3 in 2013, followed by the closure of Visceral Games in 2017, it looked as though the sci-fi horror juggernaut had nary a scare left to give. However, like a reanimated corpse on the USG Ishimura, Dead Space is back and more terrifying than ever thanks to the remake from Electronic Arts and Motive Studio, which has generated renewed interest in the franchise. With endless discussion of a Dead Space 2 Remake or a potential fourth main entry in the Dead Space series, and rumors upon rumors galore, gamers just can’t get seem to get enough of the survival horror classic.
Although I personally would warmly welcome any further Dead Space gaming experiences, I find myself with even higher hopes for the franchise. Looking at the success of the Last of Us prestige television series on HBO Max, I believe it is high time for Dead Space to infect a new realm of entertainment: film. So, put down your controllers and pick up some popcorn and 3D glasses, as we discuss five reasons that Dead Space belongs on the silver screen.
John Carpenter Would be Willing to Direct a Dead Space Film
“You had me at John Carpenter.” The list could easily end right here. If the Master of Horror himself says he wants to make a Dead Space movie, that should be enough for it to get made (and he should be given a blank check and anything he wants or needs to make the film). In an interview with AV Club in October 2022, Carpenter was asked if he ever thought about creating a film adaptation of a videogame to which he responded, “The only one I can think of, and I’ve mentioned it before, is Dead Space. That would make a real great movie. I could do that.” As the creator of legendary horror films including Halloween, The Thing, The Fog and sci-fi classics like Escape From New York and They Live (which merely scratch the surface of an impressive filmography), “real great” seems like the understatement of the century for John Carpenter’s Dead Space.
While there are unsubstantiated rumors that a Dead Space film is currently in production without Carpenter’s involvement, it would be a travesty to exclude the legendary director. Just as the Dead Space Remake was a perfect way to end the series’ ten year hiatus, a John Carpenter film adaptation of the franchise would be a great way to put the horror visionary back in the director’s chair, somewhere he has not been since 2010’s The Ward.
Related: The Scariest Monsters in Dead Space Remake, Ranked
Dead Space is a Proven IP
When it comes to the biggest names in videogame horror, Resident Evil and Silent Hill stand above the rest in terms of notoriety, and both series have spawned multiple silver screen adaptations. However, Dead Space is one of the highest selling horror franchises ever, and Dead Space 2 to this day remains among the top ten highest selling horror games of all-time. In the modern landscape of film production, studios and distributors want to ensure that their films are good investments and can generate enough box office revenue to be profitable. Dead Space as a franchise has a large international player base and could be a box office smash if it is created authentically and with care.
Dead Space Could be the Next Big Sci-Fi Horror Franchise
While science fiction and horror are profitable genres separately, combining the two in the film sphere has not always been very successful. Since the late ’70s, there have really only been two successful major players in the sci-fi horror film realm: the Alien and Predator franchises; even Carpenter’s legendary The Thing performed poorly at the box office. Despite many attempts, no other sci-fi horror titles have reached the stratosphere of the Alien and Predator films. Despite the influential status of the two iconic movie monster franchises, it is increasingly clear that there is room for another sci-fi horror series in the market. Through the combination of the games’ critically acclaimed storylines, the previously mentioned large player base, and a unique sci-fi horror premise, Dead Space has all the ingredients to become the next sci-fi horror blockbuster.
No A-Listers Required
Similarly to the Disney Plus series The Mandalorian, Dead Space’s protagonist (Isaac Clarke) spends the vast majority of screen time wearing a helmet, and his face is rarely visible. Even with the Remake’s added voice acting, Isaac remains a man of few words. While The Mandalorian enlisted the renowned actor Pedro Pascal for its main character, bringing in A-list talent is not a necessity for a potential Dead Space movie, as it is more story and setting-driven than character-driven. Despite the fact that big name celebrities and A-listers can be advantageous in increasing viewership, they also require a bigger chunk of the production budget, whereas an up-and-coming, rising star might be the perfect fit artistically for Isaac Clarke and/or his fellow survivors, while also being far less expensive.
Dead Space Social Commentary
After experiencing a real-world pandemic, Dead Space’s futuristic world and lore have some interesting parallels to life in 2023. A film adaptation could draw upon the backstory from the games to develop some tasteful, thought provoking social commentary as the cherry on top to Dead Space’s trademark pulse pounding sci-fi horror.
Related: What Year Does the Dead Space Remake Take Place In? – Answered
On another note, something even scarier than Dead Space is not getting your gaming information from Prima Games. For news, reviews, guides, and features on Dead Space and the videogame industry in general, Prima Games has everything you need, just a click away.