Judging by the fact that we have serious A-list adaptations of Assassins Creed and Splinter Cell in the pipeline, we may finally be on the cusp of seeing a new dawn in video game feature film adaptations where they’re actually good. At least that’s what I’m hoping and praying for, because by the gods, I cannot sit through another Hitman!
And the next entry in this hopeful new age of video game adaptations is Duncan “Moon” Jones’ Warcraft, which is looking orc-tastic! The first full trailer for that film got unveiled this weekend past at Blizzcon, an annual convention hosted by video game developer Blizzard, and certainly got tongues wagging. But one other potentially huge revelation at the convention though has seemingly fallen through the media cracks a bit. Activision Blizzard, the parent company of Blizzard and fellow video game publishing giant Activision (duh!), has announced the launch of Activision Blizzard Studios, “a new film and television studio devoted to creating original content based on the company’s extensive library of iconic and globally-recognized intellectual properties”, to be headed up by former Disney exec Nick Van Dyk.
As reported by ComingSoon, the new studio has already unveiled their first adaptation in the form of an animated TV series based on the best selling Skylanders video game franchise. The animated show has already notched up a star voice cast in the likes of Justin Long as Spyro, Ashley Tisdale as Stealth Elf, Jonathan Banks as Eruptor and Norm Macdonald as Glumshanks. But while an adaptation of a $3 billion dollar grossing toy/video game franchise may be big news, Activision of course has something far more lucrative in their lineup as well.
According to the report, one of the first initiatives for Activision Blizzard Studios is to establish a movie universe based on the Call of Duty franchise. For the four of you who have spent your entire life living underneath a rock, the Call of Duty franchise is series of first person shooter video games that have been around since 2003 and whose war-centric stories have spanned everything from WWII to the near future. The series’ titles are perennially in the charts of best selling games, with the entire franchise, up until April this year, having sold over 175 million copies and bringing in more than $10 billion dollars. The last game even had Kevin Spacey starring in it as the main bad guy. So yeah, you can damn well bet that it’s being turned into a movie series as well.
And I actually think that this could be a great idea. The COD games have always essentially been playable Michael Bay movies, but just with less ridiculous stories and a complete lack of Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf. Also, the more recent entries in the franchise have all bridged the gap between science-fiction and war shooter very well. That’s something that we haven’t really seen too much of in Hollywood – sure Edge of Tomorrow and Elysium both feature soldiers in exo-skeletons, but there’s a lot more to it than that.
Also, we sort of already got Call of Duty: The Movie in Scott Waugh’s Act of Valor. Now admittedly it may not have been the best movie overall, but there was an incredible authenticity to the action scenes – as there should be seeing as how it was real life Navy SEALs starring in the movie. With a bigger budget, a more explosive globe-spanning story like the games tend to deliver and the right director at the helm – anybody know what Paul Greengrass is up to? – this could work out really well.
What do you guys think? Do you want to see a Call of Duty movie franchise, or are you afraid that come the day of the first film’s premiere, the cinemas are going to be filled with loudmouthed 13-year olds calling each other’s mother’s nasty names while teabagging one another?
Last Updated: November 10, 2015