Arcade Game 'Rampage' Getting the Big-Screen Treatment; 'Call of Duty' Shatters Records -- Will We Ever See a Movie?

Arcade Game 'Rampage' Getting the Big-Screen Treatment; 'Call of Duty' Shatters Records -- Will We Ever See a Movie?

Nov 18, 2011

Rampage videogame screenMaking movies based on videogames rarely seems to work out (and the same can said for making games based on movies), but that doesn’t stop Hollywood from trying. The latest title to get the potential big screen treatment may leave you scratching your head, though – it’s not Gears of War or Halo or Bioshock...it’s Rampage.

Yes, the old school arcade game that had players turning into a giant gorilla, werewolf, or Godzilla-like lizard monster in order to destroy buildings and military vehicles is in development at New Line. New Line’s parent company, Warner Bros., acquired the game’s publisher Midway in a deal a few years back – so since they own the rights now they seem to think developing the project for the screen is a good idea. We remain unconvinced.

According to THR, the film will aim to take advantage of the title’s name and visuals. This is ironic since lots of people have never played Rampage, so they don’t remember it, and the game’s visuals (even the updated releases for the last console generation) are incredibly dated by today’s standards. 

However, New Line hopes that they can make a moderately budgeted monster movie from the title – something in the vein of Ghostbusters or Independence Day. We’ll just have to wait and see if they can pull it off – but if someone can turn Battleship into a $200 million dollar feature, we guess anything is possible.

In more modern gaming news, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 launched last week, and Activision’s unstoppable juggernaut has shattered earnings records left and right.

All Things D reports that the newest installment in the wildly popular franchise has raked in $775 million in just five days, which is a mind-boggling amount of money and guarantees we’ll all be seeing more Call of Duty games in the near future.

Activision boss Bobby Kotick says the franchise has become one of the most valuable entertainment properties in the world, earning over $6 billion dollars to date – which places it alongside Star Wars, the Harry Potter franchise, and Lord of the Rings. Of course, this raises the inevitable question – when will we see a Call of Duty film? If companies are willing to adapt Rampage for the screen, isn’t a modern tale of deadly global conflict a no brainer?

Apparently not, as there’s been no movement to help the series make the leap from console to theater projector. We can only speculate as to why that might be, but our guess is money. Activision knows the value of what they have and is unlikely to hand it over to a studio for less than a princely sum – or to hand it over without retaining a huge amount of creative control. The publisher almost assuredly has learned something from the Super Mario Bros. movie debacle, and is unlikely to let any studio potentially tarnish the game franchise with a subpar film.

That being said, it seems like missing out on a potential gold mine's worth of cash. Call of Duty is more known for its multiplayer component than its single player campaign, but the game’s stories would certainly make for good big budget action fare. While it may not have the iconic main character of games like Gears of War or Halo, it certainly has the large-scale action set-pieces fans love. Things like Modern Warfare 2’s “No Russian” mission seem like they’d make for incredible film sequences.

We suspect that Call of Duty will eventually make the move into film – and the potential for it to become a tentpole franchise is certainly there. Just don’t expect to see it at a theater near you anytime soon. For now, fans will have to get their fill of the military shooter’s action on their console of choice. 

Categories: In Development, Geek
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