EXCLUSIVE: Fede Alvarez, the Uruguayan helmer who went from the statement-making short Panic Attack to the Evil Dead remake, is in talks to direct Dante’s Inferno. Universal Pictures is setting him to helm the live action adaptation of the Electronic Arts video game, which is rooted in the famous literary work. Former Strike Entertainment partners Eric Newman and Marc Abraham are producing with EA Entertainment vice president Patrick O’Brien. The protagonist, Dante Aligheri is a knight who with the help of the poet Virgil ventures into the nine rings of hell to rescue his beloved Beatrice. In the process, he becomes an unwitting pawn in an ancient war between heaven and hell. Rights to the video game were won by Universal several years ago in a bidding battle. The game was released in 2010 for Xbox and PlayStation. Jay Basu is the most recent writer of the script, with Bruce McKenna writing the earlier draft.

Newman and Abraham most recently completed the MGM/Sony Robocop remake and O’Brien is producing the DreamWorks pic Need For Speed based on another EA title. Kristel Laiblin is exec producing Dante’s Inferno and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum and Anikah McLaren are supervising for the studio. CAA, Anonymous Content and Karl Austen rep Alvarez. UTA reps EA and Basu.