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From computer screen to silver screen: It Came from the Desert


- Marko Mäkilaakso is preparing a feature based on Cinemaware’s classic action-adventure, set to shoot this autumn

From computer screen to silver screen: It Came from the Desert
A promotional shot for It Came from the Desert

Finnish director Marko Mäkilaakso, whose horror-action film War of the Dead [+see also:
film profile
(2011) was launched at Toronto, will take a video game to the big screen: later this year, he will shoot It Came from the Desert, a feature-film version of Cinemaware’s 1989 Amiga program about giant killer ants.

Mäkilaakso and Finnish producers Teemu Virta and Tero Kaukomaa (Iron Sky [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Tero Kaukomaa
interview: Timo Vuorensola
interview: Timo Vuorensola
film profile
) – the founders of Helsinki’s Roger! Pictures – will stage the action-horror-adventure, which has a script written by Mäkilaakso and US writer Hank Woon; it will be produced in collaboration with Helsinki’s Bufo outfit and Toronto’s Raven Banner Entertainment.

“We are yet to decide which locations to choose for the film – Almeria, Spain or Canada,” said Virta, who is also setting up Mäkilaakso’s next project, Viking – Rise of the Warrior. “But we are planning to start principal photography in September or October, so It Came from the Desert will be ready for a 2016 release.”

The movie is set in modern-day New Mexico, 65 years after the city of Lizard Breath was hit by a meteorite, followed by a large army of mutant ants (according to the game). Best friends Lukas and Brian are partying to celebrate Lukas’ victory in a national motocross competition, when they stumble upon a disturbing truth: a crawling terror whose towering fury no one can escape. The government has tried to keep it a secret that another army of deadly, bloodthirsty, giant mutated ants is approaching, and Lukas and Brian have to learn from the past to become the heroes they always wanted to be, and save the world from alien invasion.

It Came from the Desert was part of this year’s Nordic Genre Invasion at Cannes, where Raven Banner sold it to China (HGC), Germany (Tiberius), France (Zylo) and Thailand (Sahamongkol Film), keeping Canadian distribution in house.

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