Shane Acker, the director of the beautiful animated feature film 9, is turning to Valve's Source Engine as the backbone for Deep, his next effort as a director. The use of a video game engine to power the film is meant to cut down on the costs of production, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune (via gamesindustry.biz).
Deep has a budget of less than $20 million and using Valve's Source will allow Acker and his crew to take advantage of the game engine's "real-time rendering and editing, simplified character animation, and economical lighting," producer Darragh O'Connell said. Using Source will also likely lead to a video game adaptation of Deep, and the Valve partnership opens the door for distribution of the film via Steam.
Deep is set in a world that's been all but destroyed by World War III. Humanity now lives on at the bottom of the ocean, building a new life inside of Earth's sunken ships. The action adventure story follows Sullivan, a nuclear sub captain who comes into contact with a group of scientists with a plan for saving the planet, though at a terrible cost.
The movie is currently in pre-production, with Hollywood newcomer Jack Barton Mitchell working on polishing off his script. There are no projected release plans yet, and O'Connell's Brown Bag Films is currently seeking distribution.