Thursday, June 02, 2011

Gabe & Tycho Get a Movie

Via THR,

If you were wondering what the next answer to Scott Pilgrim and/or Serenity style pickups - re: small-scale niche movie projects that generate PREPOSTEROUS levels of web hype right out of the gate almost-assuredly setting up unreasonable expectations from the gobsmacked studio - you now have your answer: Paramount is setting up an animated theatrical featured based on "The New Kid," a premise (kid is newly-enrolled as the only earthling in an alien elementry school) originally launched as one of the "New Ideas" spinoffs on Penny Arcade.

So, yeah. Whether they realize it or not - and regardless of the series' main characters not actually being part of it - Paramount has essentially greenlit what The Web will now unavoidably regard as "The Penny Arcade Movie;" instantly rendering every scrap of info about the production of what would otherwise sound like any other high-concept kiddie flick some of the most sought-after nuggets in the geekdom.

If they're smart, someone at Paramount is ALREADY putting together something for Comic-Con, where ANY mention of this will pack a hall, easily.


Reverend Allan Ironside said...

Holkins is a greatly underappreciated writer and I, for one, am happy to see something they have created put on a place where his talent can truly shine. This is good news indeed.

Cartogriffi said...

Comic, convention, charity, game, movie . . . I have to hand it to them, the Penny Arcade guys have figured out the proper pacing to found an empire.

Sssonic said...

Of all the spin-offs Penny Arcade's done, "The New Kid" was easily one of their weakest. Easiest to make into an animated movie, sure, and hardly a terrible premise to work with, but I would've been MUCH happier if this were, say, "Automata" or "The Lookouts" being adapted. Still, certainly interesting news, though I suspect Paramount will actually downplay the Penny Arcade connection to keep the movie's appeal broad.

Kyle said...

No 'dickwolves' I'm guessing...

Chris Cesarano said...

I actually hope the Penny Arcade connection doesn't HARM the film right out of the gate. I mean, let's face it, there are a lot of expectations as to what sort of content these guys create. The New Kid isn't even going to be written by them, just based on the idea they created.

So how's that going to be?

Personally, I'd have preferred something akin to Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness (I find their comedy writing to work so well in multiple mediums), but eh. Lookouts is going to be a board game, which rocks, and I wouldn't be surprised if someone is already working on something with Automata (didn't they so much as confess it?).

Funny thing is, in that second round of brief comic creations, I can't even remember the other two that well. There was a cowboy that can't die I think? And something about a female ninja? I think I voted for the female ninja, but for being a "not that great" comic concept, The New Kid is the one that sticks in the mind as well as Automata or Lookouts.

Maybe there's something us dumb geeks aren't seeing?

dr0p said...

But guys, remember that Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness failed on a financial level - and this was a great game from a great Indie developer (Hothead), on a medium most geeks can agree on (games, especially turn-based role-playing), hyped and lauded by every games media outlet in existence.

And we all know which awesome movie concept was killed by the financial failure of Scott Pilgrim...

Popcorn Dave said...

I agree with Ssssonic and Chris. This was the most boring and generic spinoff they came up with, and they're not even writing the script, so what's the point? I have a sad feeling this is just going to be another wacky kid's comedy full of goofy-looking aliens making the Dreamworks face, with no real connection to Penny Arcade.

In fact, if the first comment on that news blog is to be believed, this is just Paramount's way of making their obvious Galaxy High rip-off slightly less obvious. That certainly makes sense to me, though of course the other commenters are already shouting him down.

Reverend Allan Ironside said...

I was into least, the first incarnation of them. When the second time Lookouts popped up being drawn with that shitty, barely intelligible artist whose composition sucked compared to Mike, I lost interest in it.

Chris Cesarano said...

"But guys, remember that Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness failed on a financial level"

Did it really? Seriously? Dude, that's such bullshit! I remember Gabe and Tycho coming out and confessing that Gabe wasn't a fan of doing concept art and preferred immediate feedback. That the games were financial failures is just crap! They were one of the best JRPG's I got to play this generation, and they weren't even Japanese!

I hate people.

@Popcorn Dave - Considering who they have on board to write the script, they might be going for a more E.T/Goonies/Sandlot vibe, where it's a serious story with comedy rolled into it. Especially when you consider the premise alone and the tone suggested by that "pilot" strip.


Technically I think you're talking about the conclusion of the first story they had. They did a second one that was completely drawn by Gabe/Mike, but for some reason wanted to end the first one with someone else's art. I think it's because Mike has recently/always been a fan of the style of art found in some children's books, and the guest artist there pretty much does that style of art to the letter.

In general I think Penny Arcade are getting better with action-oriented/more serious comic writing and layout, though. When I go back and read their earlier Cardboard Tube Samurai stuff, it just feels...clunky. By time they got to Automata and Lookouts they were starting to get a better feel for it, or so it seems.

antecedentless said...

Somewhat off topic:I hope this is traditionally animated, or at least flash animated.

I'd hate this to be yet another CG made PG rated "family friendly" sit-com that is salivating over Pixar's leftovers (read: audience).

The United States has a movie going audience at least three times the size of Japan's; why can't we have animated feature films as diverse as Japan's?

TheAlmightyNarf said...

Of all the ideas Penny arcade has come up with, this is the one they want to make into a movie? Really? With out the benefit of Mike and Jerry's involvement, I can't say I'm even particularly interested.

Get back to me when they start work on the Automata movie.

Popcorn Dave said...

To be fair, the recent news post says they know the screenwriter personally, and they've got a plot outline worked out already, which are definitely good signs. It sounds like they might have a bit more control over this than I expected.

Mike said...

I LOVE PENNY ARCADE. I listened to their podcasts and wish they were still making them. The Adventures of Binwin, Oman, and Jim(*cough* and Al) are great listening when on a long tedious task. Automata and The Lookouts, were both excellent concepts.

But does anyone else remember "Llyod in Space"? Where a kid(not a Terran, granted) goes to a space station where he is the only one of his species in his class? Though I am a scifi nerd, so I glom onto any odd concept with "space" space attached. So it probably stuck with me more than others.

I hate to point out that it isn't such an original idea, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the PA guys will do it with tons more style, humor, and whit. If it happens I will watch it, probably buy the DVD.

What I would love to see would be a lookouts short film, with co-art direction between Mike and Genndy Tartakovsky. A dark fantasy setting, with merit badges.

Popcorn Dave said...

Pfft, Lloyd in Space? It's all about Galaxy High School.

But yeah, I think most Penny Arcade fans would agree with you that a serious Lookouts or Automata movie would be ten times more awesome than "The New Kid".

It just occurred to me that AVGN's started working on his movie as well. Is this the next Internet fad then? Can we expect a Zero Punctuation movie next?