Games Turned to Film


Originally Published: March 10, 2005

There is even more movement towards a united gaming and film front, as gamers are becoming the toast of hollywood. An example of this is American McGee working on a script for his original take on the game concept Oz, which Jerry Bruckheimer has optioned for a trilogy of films. McGee has also recently completed a movie script for The Forgotten Faery Tale, which centers on a character named Grimm and will be translated into a massively multiplayer online game or MMO.

Video Games are fast becoming the new comics, and movie studios want to cash in on this growing industry. Many other games are getting the film treatment, and more hardcore gamers are getting respect in the film industry. This is evident in the recent signing of two gamers to a first look deal with Dimension Films for the next two years.

Electronic Arts has changed the way people look at licensed games with titles including Warner Bros. Pictures’ Batman Begins, Harry Potter, MGM’s James Bond and Paramount’s The Godfather, all having been adapted for console games.

Universal Pictures has two game-based features set as summer tentpole films: the pending release of the Doom movie and the planned 2006 action film Spy Hunter. Both films star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Backbone Entertainment has created the Death Jr. franchise, for Japanese game publisher Konami, and production and management company Circle of Confusion is developing a movie with director Lawrence Guterman attached as well as a comic book line based on the son of the Grim Reaper character.

The past few years have seen a drastic evolution in Hollywood-licensed video games. Warner Bros. purchased gamer makers Monolith studio, which is working on The Matrix Online MMO game for Sega and Warner Brothers Interactive.

LucasArts is also working on a game spinoff for the hotly anticipated Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, which will be shipping before the May 19, 2005 release date of the film.

All of these convergences are leading to a new age of media entertainment, and should increase the number of action entertainment options available to the most desired market demographic, males age 12-34. We’ll see.

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