Home Entertainment Activision wants a Call of Duty movie franchise to rival the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Activision wants a Call of Duty movie franchise to rival the Marvel Cinematic Universe

4 min read

The quest to turn a killer video game franchise into a successful movie seems to never be ending. In 2016 we saw Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed both try and not quite succeed, even if both left the window open for future movies to build on. There is still Tomb Raider, Uncharted, The Division and even Splinter Cell in different stages of production or pre-production in the hope that one of these movies can actually meet the expectations of fans and movies goers alike. However, there is another adaptation in the works, one which I think actually has a good chance of succeeding: Activision’s Call of Duty.

Call of Duty has been one of the most popular video game franchises since it launched in 2003 and quite frankly, I’m surprised it’s taken this long to finally get the attention of Hollywood. While the different versions of the games might not always connect with each other and leave a lot to be desired in the story department, the action components of the games are perfect for cinema. Can someone get Michael Bay on this quick because this was a franchise tailor made for him to direct.

Activision Blizzard Studios doesn’t just want to get one movie out of the Call of Duty franchise though, but wants to create a Marvel-esque universe, utilizing the different settings from the games themselves – like Black Ops and Modern Warfare – and tying them all together.

The news was shared by The Guardian in a talk with co-presidents of Activation Blizzard studios, Stacey Sher and Nick van Dyk, about their plans for the films:

We have plotted out many years. We put together this group of writers to talk about where we were going. There’ll be a film that feels more like Black Ops, the story behind the story. The Modern Warfare series looks at what it’s like to fight a war with the eyes of the world on you. And then maybe something that is more of a hybrid, where you are looking at private, covert operations, while a public operation is going on.

I certainly like the different approaches they want to try with this to make sure that not every movie feels the same but focuses on a different aspect of war and the story behind it. After all, making all the movies too alike would be like making every game off the same engine and template, something which never works… oh wait.

It’s going to have the same sort of high-adrenaline, high-energy aesthetic as the game, but it’s not a literal adaptation. It’s a much more broad and inclusive, global in scope … a big, tentpole Marvel-esque movie.

Ambitious plans considering we don’t even have a single movie yet to actually determine if it’s any good or not. (Knowing CoD fans, does it have to be?). I also have my fears that this franchise would take on Marvel like proportions without detailed character arcs and stories to draw upon. They certainly have had a lot of games to get inspiration from, but my concern is how they are going to build more depth into those stories and tie them all into each other.

There is a also big timeline divide between games in the franchise, if you look at the early World War II settings to the latest Advanced Warfare taking us into space and beyond. From the comments above though, it sounds like they are going to try to keep it more leveled at the current timeline for now rather than exploring the different time periods.

Whatever their plan, they are committed as the studio looks to launch the call of duty Cinematic Universe as soon as 2018 if possible. They have a lot of work to do to hit next year, but if the scripts are good to go and they can convince Michael Bay find the right director, we could see work on this take place quickly.

I’m not sure if this focus on Call of Duty scuppers any chance of sequels to the Warcraft movie property which is also from the Blizzard stable. I certainly hope not, though I do think if the studio decides to push all the franchises, they might just be stretching themselves. Not that money is an issue for them at the moment.

Last Updated: April 6, 2017


  1. Alien Emperor Trevor

    April 6, 2017 at 12:35

    What kind of movie? 5-min shorts on Youtube?


  2. Matthew Holliday

    April 6, 2017 at 12:58

    Protip for Activision:

    As Call of Duty fans have learned in recent years, you dont always get what you want.


  3. Skittle

    April 6, 2017 at 13:08

    I think I know why video game movies fail.

    When you play a game you take control of the character, you become immersed and in a way become the character. We then take our memories of playing the game with us to the cinema but rather than playing the game it is like you are watching someone else playing the game.

    Seeing the main guy doing back-flips and effing shit up is not as rewarding as doing it yourself.


    • Lu

      April 6, 2017 at 14:05

      Yeah. Spin offs would be far better, based on background lore – something the Halo films do pretty well. Like a movie about Garrus Vakarian between ME 1 and 2, or how Triss Merigold became a sorceress. Stuff that build on your gaming experience, not overwrites it


    • Magoo

      April 6, 2017 at 14:15

      Do a 360 noscope!
      Do a 360 noscope!

      Ah NO wtf why u use that OP gun stupid noob toober


  4. Original Heretic

    April 6, 2017 at 13:19

    When the first movie is released, the following criticisms will come to light:
    – it’s more fun to watch it with other people that to watch it alone.
    – way too many twelve year olds saying bad things about other people’s mothers.

    When the second movie is released:
    – it’s just like the last one, why bother watching it?


    • Lu

      April 6, 2017 at 14:01

      – The naming convention is whack (1, 2, 3, 4, 4.2, Blops,4.3, 5, Blops 2, Advanced, Blops 3, Infinite, Recurring, OHMYGODMAKEITSTOP, 6)
      – The first 4 are great, but then go downhill form there.
      – You have to buy the blu ray of the crappy 12th movie before you can get the 1080p version of the best movie in the series (4 – well actually 2).
      – Everyone waiting for the Captain Price cameo.


  5. Magoo

    April 6, 2017 at 14:10

    What would be really attractive for me is if they have familiar scenery in the movie. I’m talking about multiplayer maps like Killhouse and Backlot and High-rise. And Price! That fool has lived and died many times over many decades, would love to see a movie adaption similar to his character in the Modern Warfare or Black Ops franchise.

    Enough of that rubbish though, I came here to make joke.

    Rumour has it, one of every 3 kids’ mothers have been laid by a character in that movie.


    • Lu

      April 6, 2017 at 14:18

      Mom’s taking their kids to the film like: “That’s your daddy son”


  6. Lu

    April 6, 2017 at 14:14

    Does Ghost get played by Sean Bean?


  7. Admiral Chief

    April 6, 2017 at 14:39

    The movie will be longer than the game’s campaign


  8. Craig "CrAiGiSh" Dodd

    April 6, 2017 at 15:42

    ROFL – Goodluck …


  9. Jim of the Banana

    April 6, 2017 at 15:54

    Bobby Kotick is smoking his socks again… playa… you gutted the rich story elements of Call of Duty in favour of instant gratification and Michael Baysplosions. Now you want to create a movie franchise? What’s wrong with you?


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