October 16, 2008

More Video Games Move To Hollywood

It seems that Hollywood is taking video games seriously when it comes to providing new ideas for upcoming movies.

The latest videogame to receive its own onscreen rendition is "Max Payne," starring Mark Wahlberg as a cop in search of the men who killed his wife and child.

Videogame translations are not for the weak-hearted," said John Moore, the director of "Max Payne".

"It's been a very mixed bag in terms of results. If you read the chat threads there's a big thumbs down from gamers, as opposed to the comic book adaptations, which have been a rip-roaring success. Videogames have sort of stumbled in their transition to the big screen."

Other video games are also set to receive their silver screen debut, including Sony's Pictures' "Metal Gear Solid," Universal's "God of War", Walt Disney Pictures' "Prince of Persia" among others.

"Max Payne" is the second fall videogame adaptation by 20th Century Fox, which had success last year with the $100 million hit, "Hitman."

Fox also has plans to develop a film based on Electronic Arts' best-seller "The Sims" as well as "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li" and the new "Street Fighter IV" game.

"I think so long as there are interesting, exciting videogames created with good plots, good stories and interesting characters, it's a natural outlet for Hollywood storytellers to reach for those foundations," said Patrick Aiello, producer of the "Street Fighter" film.

Capcom has also joined forces with Arad Productions and Warner Bros. Pictures to bring its ice planet action game franchise, "Lost Planet," to the big screen.

David Hayter, the voice of Solid Snake in "Metal Gear Solid" games and the screenwriter of the "X-Men" movies, is working on the script.

"The key to making a good movie is bringing to the screen something that people haven't seen before," said Hayter.

Stuart Beattie, who worked on the Pirates of the Caribbean films, has also written a script for a "Gears of War" movie, based on Epic Games' best-selling franchise.

"For those of us who know how great games are for source material in Hollywood, we're all scrambling to try to make the big game movie that will show Hollywood just how powerful game translations can be on the big screen if they're done right," said Beattie, who is a huge gamer.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer also plans to give the game Prince of Persia its onscreen debut with Disney Pictures. Bruckheimer enlisted the game's creator, Jordan Mechner, to write the screenplay for the film.

"Just as Pirates of the Caribbean had been inspired by all these great old pirate movies, Prince of Persia had drawn from all the great old Arabian Nights movies," said Mechner.


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