first-person call of duty ad

Peter Berg and Taylor Kitsch have stuck by one another for years, beginning with Friday Night Lights and carrying through Battleship and last year’s Lone Survivor. Now they’ve teamed up for an entirely different sort of combat engagement. Kitsch stars in Berg’s first-person Call of Duty ad — a live-action affair that, like the game series, puts the viewer in the primary role. Then it throws a set of sad cliches at us. Catch ‘em all below.  Read More »

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Halo: Nightfall trailer

The second Halo: Nightfall trailer — that being the Ridley Scott-produced digital series directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan – shows a bit more scope than what we saw in the first trailer. There’s a ship or two, a hint of the Covenant, and at least the backdrop of the vista of a Halo ring. Mike Colter (The Good Wife) stars as Jameson Locke, who is caught in a plot that is potentially both a political conspiracy and something like a bug hunt. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

max landis super mario script

“This script sucks.” Those three words are emblazoned across a new file screenwriter Max Landis has uploaded to his website. It’s a 436 page script for a movie version of Super Mario World. Yes, the first Super Nintendo entry in the Super Mario Bros. series. Landis uploaded the script as a joke. Just to make sure we’re all in on it, he wrote a few pages of preamble explaining himself.

In those first few pages, Landis explains he wrote the script at 19 and admits “this script sucks” for a ton of reasons. Most scripts equate to a minute per page. Who was going to make a seven hour Super Mario Bros. movie? Not Nintendo. They tried and failed to make a much shorter version in 1993. Landis was 8 at the time so he was very aware of that film.

Still the aspiring screenwriter pressed on and wrote a script where he made cardinal mistakes like describing every beat of every action scene, introducing too many tangential characters and typing out long sections of songs into the screenplay.

Basically, this was an epic time wasting exercise by a talented, possibly crazy, 19-year-old kid figuring out screenwriting. But at least he was writing…and writing…and writing. Below, check out the Max Landis Super Mario script and even see some concept art Landis had drawn for the film. Read More »

Rob Riggle in 21 Jump Street

Legendary’s Dead Rising: Watchtower continues to cast up. Rob Riggle has just been added to the zombie video game adaptation in a major role, along with Aleks Paunovic (This Means War) and Harley Morenstein (Tusk).

The trio join previously cast stars stars Jesse Metcalfe, Dennis Haysbert, Meghan Ory, Virginia Madsen, and Keegan Conner TraceyZach Lipovsky is directing and Lorenzo di Bonaventura is executive producing. Hit the jump for more information on the latest Dead Rising casting, including character details.

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Shawn Levy to Direct ‘Minecraft’

Minecraft

After the success of The Lego Movie taught Warner Bros. there was money to be made in movies about building blocks, the studio quickly scooped up the rights to the video game Minecraft. Now, as Warner Bros. constructs plans for a Lego Movie franchise, it’s also getting the pieces into place for that Minecraft movie.

Shawn Levy has just been tapped to develop and direct the film, while Roy Lee (The Lego Movie) and Jill Messick (Mean Girls) will produce. Hit the jump for more about the Minecraft movie.

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The following post was originally published on February 24th 2014.

Mouse & Mystics and other board game movies that Hollywood should make

Which board game movies should Hollywood make next? Over the last year or so I’ve gotten sucked into the table top scene, and now have a board game addiction. I’m not talking about Monopoly or The Game of Life, but designer hobby board games that offer more strategy and theme than the games we all played as children.

Hollywood has dipped its toes into the board game movies a few times now. First with Battleship. It was such a huge bomb that Universal later dropped Monopoly, which was being developed for years by Ridley Scott. Universal is releasing the horror/thriller adaptation of Ouija produced by Michael Bay and Jason Blum. Universal and Warner Bros are both fighting to make a movie based on the role-paying game Dungeons & Dragons. And most recently, 20th Century Fox has announced they are brining the popular role-playing card game Magic: The Gathering to the big screen with the help of Simon Kinberg.

There are many reasons Battleship failed but I think first and foremost the audience refused to take the movie seriously after hearing the title. The studio clearly greenlit the project hoping to turn massive brand recognition into tickets sold, but it didn’t take a genius to realize that the 1930 board game didn’t have enough story to warrant a movie adaptation. So much so that director Peter Berg made up his own “alien invasion at sea” construct.

So if Hollywood is going to develop board game movies, why not look at some board games that offer deeper storytelling, more interesting scenarios and compelling characters? The list I have put together after the jump includes a bunch of board games that you might not have heard of, but are popular in the tabletop gaming world. Each of them has something to offer Hollywood if they wanted to bet on concept and story vs. huge branding.

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Heir to the Jedi

Updates from the set of Episode VII, some awesome Rebels clips and lots of other odds and ends are in this edition of Star Wars Bits. Below, read about the following:

  • A fire evacuates the set of Star Wars Episode VII, and Harrison Ford has reportedly finished filming.
  • Is casting for the Star Wars spinoffs and sequels already happening?
  • Watch a new clip from Star Wars Rebels and get a brief tease at what’s to come for the rest of the season.
  • Brad Bird stumbles around the question of whether or not  he’ll eventually direct a Star Wars movie.
  • J.J. Abrams answers a young boy’s Star Wars math problem.
  • Judd Apatow meets George Lucas.
  • Joel Edgerton refers to Adam Driver as the Star Wars Episode VII villain.
  • Two more cancelled Lucasarts Star Wars games have been revealed.
  • Check out a live tweet recap of the A New Dawn panel at New York Comic-Con.
  • Read a detailed description of Heir of the Jedi by Kevin Hearne.
  • The Star Wars Fan Film Awards are coming back.

Read More »

‘Myst’ TV Show in Development From Legendary

Myst TV show

The game Myst was one of the first mega-hits of the CD-Rom wave of gaming in 1993. It spawned sequels, spin-offs and novels, and was a top seller in games for almost a decade. Now Legendary TV has made a deal with Cyan Worlds, the original developer of the game, to develop a Myst TV show and accompanying new video game. The two projects won’t merely be parallel story concepts, however, as Cyan wants to make a truly interactive pair of new Myst stories, in which audiences can play the game on tablets while watching the show. Read More »

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