Video Game Adaptations

First Assassin’s Creed, then Deus Ex, and now… God of War. Jeeze, I guess news surrounding adaptations of popular video games comes in threes. If this is anything like celebrity deaths, the news can’t be good. Hmph!

God of War is a third-person action game series first released in 2005. Since then, it has spawned two sequels on PlayStation, a mobile game and two portables. A third console sequel is scheduled for release next year. In the game you’re Kratos, a pasty skinned, musclebound, warrior  who’s hell bent on revenge. Your sole purpose, as a player, is to smash buttons and kick mythological ass. It’s fun stuff!  Anyhow, with Kratos being such a fan-revered butt-kicker, and considering the franchise’s success, it was just a matter of time before Hollywood took interest.

Actually, Hollywood took interest about 5 or so years ago. An early script was drafted by David Self and Brett Ratner was rumored to direct. Obviously, nothing came of it. And thank God (no pun intended). The less the world is exposed the Brett Ratner the better.

According to The Hollywood Reporter  Pacific Rim And Saw Writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan have just been pegged to revive the live-action adaptation of God of War from Sony Computer Entertainment.

I’d make a crack about how the scribes of Saw IV through VII are bound to fuck this up, but their work with Guillermo del Toro on Pacific Rim has now set them on the action tentpole path. It’s entirely plausible that they can make a good movie out of God of War. Then again, there has never been a well-made film of a video-game adaptation. It’s a cursed genre.

On the other hand, I think it’s a bit odd that 3 video game adaptions have been announced. Maybe Hollywood is realizing the comic book genre well is running dry and it’s time to focus attention on making quality movies based on video games. Or, is that just wishful thinking?

Oi! Today is remake discussion day. Earlier we gave a back-handed compliment to the Evil Dead reboot. It’s a cult classic that’s not to be messed with, but the new vision, characters and creatives involved are encouraging. Now we exchange views on the upcoming Tomb Raider remake/reboot.

While the two Tomb Raider films were box offices successes, they were chalked up by video game fans as piss-poor adaptations. Between the two films it’s 3+ hours of guns, explosions and Angelina Jolie‘s boobs bouncin’ around. I can’t say the video games offer anything much different, but any film with a butt-kicking babe needs to have some depth. I think the most successful babes of bad-assery are the ones that don’t start out as bad-asses. They go through something traumatic. The ordeal triggers the flight-or-flight response and they are ultimately transformed by it. Sarah Connor in Terminator. Ripley in Alien. These are two notable cases where the character started off as a typical, helpless, damsel in distress. It was only by way of some really fucked up shit where they able to become something more. I think Tomb Raider needs to tap into this kind of character awakening physiology. You can have the boobs, guns and explosions, but throw a little inspiration and empowerment in there.

Thanks to Collider, we have some new details on the status of the planned Tomb Raider reboot. After two fairly successful movies,  the studio are now planning on exploring the early years of the iconic video game character…exactly what an upcoming video game from Square Enix will do. Here’s what producer Graham King told the site. .

On When Production May Start And The New Direction Of The Franchise:

I think hopefully next year. We just got the script in on Tomb Raider and it’s really good. It’s something that, for me anyway, is different, you know rebooting a franchise that I didn’t produce to begin with. But there’s something about her character and going back to her roots, and that’s what we’re doing with this. You’re actually gonna meet her before she has all her powers as Lara Croft. It’s more of a character study, but it’s a really fun, fun adventure story.

On The Chances Of Seeing Angelina Jolie Cameo In Some Way:

I don’t know, you know we’ve spoken about Tomb Raider and we’ll have to see. I mean she’s so wonderful, she just directed this movie for me, In the Land of Blood and Honey, which I think we’re about five weeks from releasing and I can’t wait for people to see that movie. She did an amazing job as a director, absolutely amazing. Maybe I’ll ask her to direct it (laughs). We did a screening of the movie in L.A., like a preview, and I didn’t tell anyone who directed it, then afterwards I asked the focus group who they think directed it, and they said Roman Polanski or Clint Eastwood, which is “wow.” But she’s that good, and the film is that good.

While I don’t care for origin stories, I like the idea of starting over with Laura as a teenager to explain how she becomes a Tomb Raider. I just hope they make it empowering and that they keep it simple. Don’t overuse CG. Don’t go overboard with over-the-top action. Don’t have her punch a fucking shark.

Source: Collider

Oh joy, today is a good day. 3 reasons. 1. The scab on my elbow is ripe for the picking; I can’t wait to pluck it and roll it around in my fingers. 2. Director Albert Hughes leaves Akira. 3. Director David O. Russell quits Uncharted.

Starting with ‘Uncharted’. As most of you know, Sony Pictures plans to make a live-action adaptation of the adventure based video game of the same name. David O. Russel (The Fighter) was attached to direct. His name alone perked interest and gave a sense of faith that Sony might actually make a decent video game movie for once. However, once word got out that Russell was fucking with the source material, fans were not pleased. He had planned to input a heavy family dynamic and have new characters to be played by Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci.Oh, and Mark Walberg was his top pick for Nathan Drake. I think we all held a figurative gun to our head at that little nugget. Anyway, O. Russel and his ideas are fucking OUTTA HERE. Variety’s Jeff Sneider exclusively reports:

David O. Russell, who was set to write and produce the bigscreen adaptation of the videoameUncharted: Drake’s Fortune,has left the project over creative differences.”

OK, so we don’t actually know if O. Russell’s departure means that Sony will scrap his family dynamic script. Nor, do we know if Russell’s homeboy, Marc Walberg is going with him. It’s our hope that Sony will find a good director that will honor the source material and pick Nathan Fillion as Nathan Drake. That’s all we want.

Moving on to the better news.

Absolutely nobody wants a Americanized, live-action version of Katsuhiro Otomo anime/manga, Akira. Seriously, the animated classic is already in peak perfection, anything we Americans do will most likely only cheapen it. And, Hollywood is certainly trying to do everything possible to do just that. Taking neo-Tokyo out of Japan and putting it in Manhattan.Stupid! Not to mention, the studios intent to white-wash the entire project by seeking non-Asian actors for the roles. I mean fuck, Keanu Reeves himself was offered the starring role of Kaneda and he’s quite clearly not Asian. Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy were also persons of interest. Just awful.

Anyway, in recent news, Keanu declined the offer and Warner Bros. had shut down a department working on pre-production. Now it gets even better. Director, Albert Hughes has left the project. Deadline reports:

“Director Albert Hughes is exiting the movie, I’m told. Insiders say that it is an amicable creative differences parting of the ways.”

Blow after blow. This project is dead. It’s gotta be dead, right? Not so fast. Deadline believes Warner Bros. will work quickly to replace him and go back to the film’s original strategy. With the hiring of screenwriter Steve Kloves to reign in the film in the script stage, Warner Bros. now hopes to go back to those younger actors for a more economical retelling of the story. Bah! less money and more teenage heart throbs?! Shoot me now.

Are there any fans out there who actually have some love for the first two Tomb Raider movies? *shakes head* I don’t get it. Ya, you’ve got an Indiana Jones type character with huge tits, but those flicks were ridiculously cartoonish.  It was all eye candy and not much else. Brainless and unexciting.

OK, that’s the extent of my opinion on the existing Tomb Raider flicks. Suffice to say, I didn’t like them and think, like everything else that fails, the video-game to film franchise should get a reboot. Which it is. And, the latest word on it is rather promising.

Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby have been hired to write the Tomb Raider reboot being produced by GK Films’ Graham King and Tim Headington. GK Films bought the film rights to Square Enix’s classic video game featuring Lara Croft about two months ago, and plans to reboot the action franchise for a 2013 release of the first film.

Fergus and Ostby adapted the screenplay for Alfonso Cuaron‘s Children of Men, and were nominated for an Oscar. They wrote 2008’s Iron Man and were involved as one of the several writers for Cowboys and Aliens. Dude, did you see Children of Men? If that’s any indication of what the duo can do, consider me bright eyed. Course, to be fair, Children of Men was adapted from a novel, but regardless.

The writers released a rather confident statement about their plans for the franchise, saying that they want to create an “origin story for Lara Croft that solidifies her place alongside Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor in the pantheon of great female action heroes.”

Whoa. Same wheelhouse as Ripley and Connor? That’s a bold promise, but I think these two can pull it off.

The origin story might be too much. Yes the character needs to be humanized, but a full on superhero type back story is unnecessary. If anything, the character of Lara Croft needs some work. She doesn’t really have anything that makes her tick. She’s just a adrenaline junkie with tits. I just hope that  Fergus and Ostby realize that what made Ripley and Connor great was that they were unexpected heroes. They were average woman (for the most part) that got tossed in extraordinary circumstances and BECAME bad-asses as a result.

At this time, no actors have been cast in the film. With the a reboot being an origin story it means Angelina Jolie won’t be returning as Lara Croft. While I thought she was forgettable, others don’t. So I ask, who do you think can take on the mantel? My vote goes to Jamie Alexander, who you can see as lady Sif in ‘Thor’.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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Memba that God of War Indie Movie Trailer done in a style reminiscent of Wes Anderson? Well, if you thought that was wistfully bemusing, then you need to see Gamervision‘s latest ‘What If?’ video.  Off the cusp of their Star Wars Christmas Special (the special everyone really wanted), the funny bastards at Gamervision wondered what a live-action adaptation of the popular Nintendo video game The Legend of Zelda would be like if it was made in the 80’s, John Hughes style.

In this charming critically-acclaimed tale of first love, Link (Jon Tomlinson), an eternal optimist and adventurer, seeks to capture the heart of Zelda, an unattainable high school beauty and straight-A student (Zane Bauer). He surprises just about everyone-including himself-when she returns the sentiment. But the high school’s over-possessive, megalomaniacal Principal Ganondorf (Dominic Moschitti) doesn’t approve and it’s going to take more than just the power of love to conquer all. Perfectly capturing the essence of what it means to be a teenager in the 80s, Nick Murphy, Mike Sadorf, and Dom Moschitti reimagine one of the most celebrated video game franchises of all time with the heart, charm, and wit that only they could. It’s the legend of high school. It’s the legend of love. It’s The Legend of Zelda.

Channeling the days of sequined gloves, parachute pants, Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald, this faux trailer certainly tickles my 80’s sensibilities. The references get me all nostalgic and the concept I like.

Spoofing video-games through film while mocking a director and or era style  is entertaining in every way possible. Whole films based on this concept would probably fair a hell of a lot better than any of the direct adaptation we’ve been subject to.