– by Joseph Jammer Medina


Zach Lipovsky is getting ready to direct the film adaptation of the popular zombie video game franchise, “Dead Rising.” The film will be available in various streaming formats, and you’ll have the ability to either watch it as one cohesive film, or as several short episodes. In adapting the franchise for the screen, Lipovsky has emphasized in a new interview that he wants to adapt the look and feel of the games without making a literal adaptation of one of the game entries.

The film is set in a new outbreak with new heroes, in a new city,” he tells /Film. “So it’s not a direct adaptation of one of the previous games, but it does fit into the cannon of the storyline,” says Lipovsky, who rose to fame in 2007 when he appeared in Steven Spielberg’s reality competition, On The Lot.  As for where the film will be placed in to the current cannon, Lipovsky reveals, “It takes place between the Fortune City outbreak in Dead Rising 2 and Los Perdidos outbreak from Dead Rising 3. So it’s a part of the greater franchise narrative. Of course some familiar faces show up as well.

The young director also discusses the tone of the film as being “like ‘Indiana Jones’ with zombies,” in terms of having elements of adventure, thrill, and humor. So it won’t be a straight-up horror, zombie outbreak movie. 

Here, he gives a more expansive answer on the tone and scale of the film:

“I think the franchise actually brings a lot of new energy to the genre that we haven’t seen in a zombie movie. The idea that you can be bitten and remain human as long as you take your medicine everyday, is very interesting and dramatic. Similar to the social stigma of living with HIV.

Another very cool element from the game is the zombies remember a little bit about their previous lives. There is something really haunting about seeing a zombie cop randomly firing his gun, or a zombie mom pushing a stroller.

Finally what I love in Dead Rising is the city is locked down, but the rest of the world is fine. Families are watching the zombie apocalypse on TV while eating dinner like it’s the Super Bowl. We’re taking a lot of inspiration from real world events like Hurricane Katrina, the Ebola outbreak, even the Ferguson Riots.”

And what’s a zombie film without a good, solid horde of the undead on a rampage? Lipovsky states that, despite not having a massive budget, we can expect a good amount of zombie mayhem. “One zombie isn’t scary, a horde that you can’t get through without a chainsaw is very scary. We’re pulling every favor we can do have some monster zombie set pieces,” he says. Lipovsky continues, “The rest will be a matter of focusing on locations and situations where a smaller number in a confined space still has full effect. Some of the most exciting parts of the game are when you’re in a tiny room filled with zombies.” He also doesn’t think he’ll have any shortage of people wanting to play the film’s biters. “Pretty much every person I know has already emailed me saying they want tobe a zombie, so I think well be fine,” he says. He also adds this little nugget: “We are also planning a long one take action shot with hundreds of zombies which I’m very excited about.

Dead Rising begins filming today. The cast for the film includes Jesse Matcalfe, Virginia Madsen, Meghan Ory, Dennis Haysbert, and Keagan Connor Tracy. 


Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.