Director Gore Verbinski is to turn a news article about online role-playing into a film, reports claim.

According to Variety, the Pirates Of The Caribbean helmer and Universal Pictures have acquired the rights to a 2007 Wall Street Journal article about the effect of online role-play games such as World of Warcraft and Second Life on the real lives of players.

Alexandra Alter's original piece focused on the detrimental effect of one man's online gaming habit on his marriage, after he spent up to 20 hours a day hiding his 53-year-old, diabetic, chain-smoking self behind the online avatar of a thriving, muscular entrepreneur.

Steven Knight, the screenwriter of Eastern Promises and Dirty Pretty Things, will create a script based on Alter's article.

However, it may be some years before the world of MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) comes to the screen, due to the director's other commitments.

Verbinski is also attached to an adaptation of the videogame Bioshock, an animated shorts project based on The Cult 80s film Heavy Metal and a rumoured fourth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

17/12/2008 10:37:35