Producer Gail Katz (The Perfect Storm, Air Force One) has acquired the film and TV rights to the bestselling multiplayer strategy game The Settlers of Catan.  The game, created by Klaus Teuber, has sold over 22M board versions worldwide in 30 languages and 50 countries. It also counts downloads in excess of 1.6B. The Settlers of Catan revolves around players creating a dominant community on the fictional island of Catan.  Settlers must outwit one another amidst fierce competition for the island’s scarce resources.

Catan box“I’ve been wanting to see an adaptation of the game for years, ever since my Catan-obsessed college-aged kids introduced me to it,” said Katz in a statement.  “The island of Catan is a vivid, visual, exciting and timeless world with classic themes and moral challenges that resonate today.  There is a tremendous opportunity to take what people love about the game and its mythology as a starting point for the narrative.”

In addition to college campuses, the game is popular in Silicon Valley and has been profiled in Wired and The New Yorker. A recent Wall Street Journal article revealed how the Green Bay Packers are obsessed with the game.

Katz’s latest film Pawn Sacrifice is being released this year by Bleecker Street. Directed by Edward Zwick, the Cold War drama is based on the life of enigmatic chess legend Bobby Fischer and it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last September. Pawn Sacrifice stars Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard and Michael Stuhlbarg.  Lionsgate handled international sales.