Friday, November 18, 2011

Your Next Big Video Game Movie Might Be "RAMPAGE!"

I've been saying for years that the reason Hollywood keeps failing at making movies out of video games is largely because they keep choosing the wrong games; i.e. they should look beyond the currently-popular crop of big-sellers - overwhelmingly a collection of drably-generic properties built to resemble various popular movies - and toward older and/or more enduring properties originating in an era when the industry was a hair more creative.

Well, producer John Rickard of the reconstituted New Line Cinema has now opted to take exactly HALF of my advice, putting out the call for screenplay pitches for a big-budget adaptation of "RAMPAGE;" a Golden Age arcade classic that was funny, colorful, utterly bizzare... but also a blatant "Brand X" pastiche of popular movies. On the plus side, said popular movies meant "Godzilla," so there ya go.

I'm excited about this on principal (it would be AMAZING if "golden age video games" became Hollywood's new fixation a'la comics) but I'll be interested as hell to see what they come up with... and probably dissapointed as hell when it turns out they just want to make a generic monster movie with a "brand" name attached. People forget this, but there WAS a semblance of a story to "Rampage" - George (gorilla) Lizzie (dinosaur) and Ralph (werewolf) were humans transformed by mad science.

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: If I was pitching this (I'd take this job in a heartbeat) I'd pitch it as a comedy - embrace the juvenility of the game (it's literally coin-op destruction porn) and do it as a broad raunchy slapstick thing; "Harold & Kumar" but with Godzilla-style monsters (use guys in suits green-screened into "real" cities instead of CGI for added humor) as the leads. In fact, make it an Apatow-style dipshit-meets-girl thing with George (Seth Rogan/Jack Black type) and Lizzie (think Sarah Silverman.) King Kong and Girl-Godzilla fucking? That's funny just on it's own. Maybe Ralph is the bad guy, that'd work. Go all-out with the giant-sized scatology humor: Let the giant gorilla throw his giant gorilla poop. Skyscraper-humping. Big river of monster-pee coming down the street like a tidal-wave. Definitely do the toilet-eating thing from the game. Have one of them make a smokestack into a bong. Murderer's Row of comedians doing bit parts as soldiers/cops/bystanders/etc. Do the "this isn't a cave... we're in a monster's mouth!!!" bit... only they're actually in it's butt.


Anonymous said...

Or, you know, we could have a comedy that ISN'T a cavalcade of bad potty humor with bit-part cameos from bored-looking 'real' comedians collecting a check.

You know, a movie I'd actually enjoy watching.

Chris Cesarano said...

Yeah, I'm sorry MovieBob, but that idea sounds absolutely terrible.

I'm on board with the comedy aspect, but, like a Mario movie, I'd rather see it done in a Pixar fashion, only with a more bizarre sense of humor like Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.

Hell, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is precisely the ridiculous over-the-top nature I'd go with. Plus, if you DON'T make it a stupid raunchy potty-humor R-rated movie, then gamers that grew up with Rampage! can bring their kids to see the movie of it and pass some of their childhood culture down.

Unless I'm completely misreading your idea and you're actually trying to poke fun at the sort of shit Hollywood tends to do, only in an extremely over-the-top manner. In which case, certain types of sarcasm just don't work on the Internet. This is one of them.

Angry Man said...

This sounds awful no matter which way you pitch it. How about just no video game movies ever.

Aiddon said...

No thank you; if anything games are better off being animated, though game movies in general are painfully pointless at best.

Anonymous said...

Would you see that movie? I'm really asking.

Michael said...

I like the pitch. It is not my thing but there is clearly an audience for this type of movie. I like the guys in suits acting like morons. I would downplay the gross comedy a bit but increase the stoner jokes over the top. Oh and make sure Danny McBride is in a supporting roll. He would make this movie work.

MovieBob said...


Yes, I would. Hell, if my greenscreen and CGI capabilities were a little better I'd MAKE that movie.


Danny McBride for Ralph, definitely. Maybe Danny Pudi and Kristen Schaal for George and Lizzie. Maybe also Asiz Ansari as a mad scientist and Seth Rogen as a general. Ken Jeong as guy-not-appearing-in-this-movie-because-the-schtick-is-tired.

patrick.b.healy said...

The movie you pitched was "Your Highness" except with Godzilla instead of D&D.
"Your Highness" wasn't a good movie. Or did you forget?

Anonymous said...

Can't tell if genius or retarded