Movie Reviews

The Dead Space Movie Is A Massive Missed John Carpenter Opportunity

The Dead Space movie almost certainly won’t be helmed by horror master John Carpenter – and that’s a big mistake. Carpenter has largely retired from filmmaking, having not helmed a feature since 2010’s The Ward. Since John Carpenter’s movie CV is an embarrassment of classics like Halloween, The Thing and In The Mouth Of Madness, it’s safe to say he has nothing else to prove though. The filmmaker has always claimed he’d be willing to direct again for the right project, but in the last decade, he’s largely focused on making music, watching basketball or playing video games.

In fact, he’s become something of a game addict, and often tweets about his latest titles. Carpenter’s even dipped his toes in the creative side of games, having acted as a story consultant on F.E.A.R. 3. He’s often leveled praise on the Dead Space series, and even claimed – like in this 2013 tweet – to love the third game, which received lackluster reviews upon release. He’s also stated sci-fi horror game Dead Space had the potential to be a great sci-fi horror film and if he could turn any game into a movie, it would be that one.

Related: John Carpenter’s Favorite Westerns (& Why He Never Made One)

The Dead Space series has largely been dormant since the third game underperformed, but it will finally return in the form of an upcoming remake for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X & S and PC. This has led to renewed calls for a John Carpenter Dead Space, but in a Variety interview, the filmmaker seemed to imply that while a movie might be in development, he’s not working on it. He also stated “I think they already have another director involved.” If so, the producers are missing out by not bringing Carpenter on board.

The original Dead Space game pulled from several influences, including Alien and Event Horizon. Carpenter’s sci-fi great The Thing was another, from the gruesome creature design to the bleak tone. Carpenter may have pulled back from filmmaking, but both his passion for the games and knowledge of the genre makes him the best person to bring it to screen. Sadly, the financial backers of a Dead Space movie probably won’t see it that way. Carpenter’s last hit was 1998’s Vampires, and there’s a host of younger filmmakers they would likely approach first. Plus, Carpenter seems to very much enjoy not having the pressure of making films on his shoulders anymore.

A Dead Space adaptation doesn’t seem to be in Carpenter’s – who wrote a Western for John Wayne – future, but will he ever direct again? In the years since The Ward – which attracted largely lukewarm reviews – his name has been attached to several projects, including horror Western The Bloody Benders or monster comic adaptation Darkchylde. None of those projects ended up happening, and he currently appears to have no movies in active development. He’s very active as a composer on films like the Halloween legacy sequels or Firestarter, however, but unless he’s given a truly irresistible directing offer, he may never helm another feature.

Next: Halloween Ends Sequel Can Bring Michael Back (With Carpenter’s First Plan)

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