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.