Not only are Activision negotiating to translate their Guitar Hero game into a reality TV series and/or a concert tour (Heropalooza?), The Hollywood Reporter are telling us that the video game company have set up deals for a World of Warcraft picture, as we already knew, and a Call of Duty movie, which is new news to me.
The CEO of Activision Blizzard refused to comment to the Hollywood Reporter on either Warcraft or Call of Duty but as well we know the official line is no more dependably credible than the unofficial one. My first question about this film would be one of tone, however. Can a serious war film retain credibility when tied to a videogame license? Or, perhaps more to the point, will a studio believe the supposed audience for a videogame adaptation would stand the sort of integrity and moral sensitivity that prevents war movies being hollow, exploitative dross?
The game series seeks to represent American, Soviet and British perspectives, a blend which is unusual in typical war pictures and could make for an interesting underlying premise to the adaptation. The occasional level of the game that requires the player character to ‘go it alone’ might make for good gameplay but would have to be handled sensibly in the film to avoid evoking infuriating ‘John Wayne’ heroics.
If Inglourious Basterds is a smash, which I sincereley hope it will be, we might see Call of Duty getting an easy greenlight. If, on the other hand, Basterds bombs there’s a fair chance of all world war related treatments, scripts and licenses getting swept off the table and into the circular file. This is hardly an amazing feat of perspicacity, I know. I’m really just parrotting the accepted wisdom on studio development cycles but while Call of Duty is in early development like this, it seems the appropriate context to quote.