Simon Pegg Totally Down With Shaun Of The Dead L4D Mod
If there’s one thing the world doesn’t have enough of, it’s Shaun of the Dead-related stuff. 8 years later, it remains the best zombie film made in the last few decades (maybe Dead Alive comes close). Obviously, the solution would be a decent video game, but since that doesn’t seem to be in cards commercially, the
next best better best thing would be to make a Left 4 Dead mod based on it. Enter Left 4 Winchester, a proposed mod for L4D that would put players directly into the film’s iconic Winchester Pub.
First proposed back in 2008, the modding team even worked up a neat little teaser asking what would happen “if the best zombie game had a child with the best zombie movie?” Unfortunately, the rights to Shaun of the Dead are owned by Universal, and as it turns out movie studios aren’t quite as cool about fair use, not-for-profit modding as the video game industry has traditionally been. Universal slapped the L4W team with a C&D order that shut the whole project down, leaving nothing but the stunted hopes of gamers and zombies fans to shamble on alone.
However, they left their teaser up on YouTube, and somehow Simon Pegg found out about it. And since Simon Pegg is a nerd in good standing – possibly the patron saint of Nerds, being one of the first of us to admit how much he hated The Phantom Menace while people were still pretending it was a good movie – he is completely on board.
“This would be absolutely awesome! The rights belong to Universal but we will do what we can,” Simon tweeted, indicating he might be bringing his considerable clout to bear on behalf of the Left 4 winchester team. This took everyone by surprise of course, including the modders themselves. On the official L4W site, they weighed in:
This project is 3-4 years old and was left to stagnate due to legal concerns.
Understandably, having little nobodies in the world mess with a major media company’s intellectual property isn’t often the brightest move. So, with hearts heavy of doubt, we stepped back to avoid any confrontation with the media rights holder (in this case Universal).
Yeah, that sucked. And it was a ball-less move. BUT! That lovable bastard Simon Pegg found out about the project and said it was awesome. And honestly, who in the world can say no to that?
After looking back through all the other little forums and news sites, seeing all of the people who desperately wanted to see this happen back in 2009, I can’t help but feel we’ve abandoned them. I just want to say that we’re sorry for that. We want this to happen as much as anyone. It has been a continual topic of conversation over the last few years. “We should start that back up”. But we didn’t have the fire to lose everything to make it happen. That has changed. While we don’t want to step on any toes, we don’t want to disappoint anyone anymore. The worst case scenario is that this becomes a parody of a parody. But be damned if it isn’t a good one!
Even 4 years later, their supposedly modest goals sound like the best idea ever. “So the first goal,” they say, “is to create a series of maps that follows the path of Shaun’s crew through the zombie apocalypse with events based closely to the movie. This will be the Left4Dead experience in the Shaun of the Dead universe. After the campaigns completion, it may be taken further to provide unique movie events and perhaps even a separately scripted campaign which follows the movie as closely as possible. Let’s be honest though, that’s a lot of custom content, and we’re currently five people.”
To that end, they’re putting out the call for any modders who might want to join the team. They’re looking for mappers, and you can contact them here to find out more. In the meantime, while you’re stewing about how great this might be, why not watch the Left 4 Winchester teaser that made Simon Pegg so excited: