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Activision planning Call of Duty movie universe, possibly kicking off in 2018

by on April 6, 2017
 

Considering I’m a hugh Call of Duty mark fan, you’d think I’d be all in on this announcement. I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t “intrigued,” however when I think of video games becoming films, I’m reminded of all of the failures that lie before COD, like a graveyard in Ireland that just stretches as far as the eye can see… Warcraft, BloodRayne, Double Dragon, Super Mario Bros., Wing Commander, Dead or Alive, Resident Evil (pick one), Max Payne, Hitman (again, pick one), Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter and the list goes on and on.

Call of Duty definitely has had some good stories in a few of their games, like Modern Warfare, Advanced Warfare, and despite the hate, even Infinite Warfare. However, the studio doesn’t appear to be following any of the game’s storylines. Instead, Stacey Sher and Nick van Dyk, the co-presidents of the in-house production team at Activision Blizzard, said they already have a few “sub brands” in the works and multiple scripts are already completed.

“We have plotted out many years,” said Stacy Sher. “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.”

Based on Sher’s comment above, it looks like they already have a gameplay on where they plan to take these films and since they plan to build a “movie-verse” it leaves one assuming that these films, while appearing to be based on different events and thus different heroes, will be linked together in some fashion.

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

While that’s definitely the kind of talk you’d expect from high-level executives, it’s how it all comes together that really matters. Because as the old saying goes, The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, basically saying, sure, they mean well, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to get what we expect. Take properties like Wing Commander, you cast Freddie Prinze Jr., bad idea, the whole movie banked on him and he sucked. In order for a COD movie to succeed, you need a perfect storm of a good director, lead actor and a good writer. You can preach to me all day long about how you have 3 movies already written, but if those scripts are written by the guy who wrote Surf Ninjas, sorry, I’m checking out.

Regardless of my feelings and the feelings of a lot of fans, these films are coming sooner than later, quite possibly in 2018, which means these bad boys are being fast tracked. On top of that, we may also get a TV series, though that’s still early in development. But if they do, do a series on TV it needs to be done on a network that will allow the show to visibly depict war as it should be, violent and adult. I seriously doubt we’ll see, or even be lucky enough, to have COD on HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Amazon or Netflix, but that’s where it belongs, if it’s going to be done right. With a long-form delivery method (10-13 episodes) I feel like it would be a better fit, to tell a more in depth story, without rushing the character development like a film. Personally, I’d rather them forego the film universe and just do a COD Netflix show, where each season is a different story, time and conflict. Think of it like American Horror Story, but interconnected in some unique way, through decades and time.

What are your thoughts?

Source: The Guardian