Posted on Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
Sony Pictures and Sony Computer Entertainment of America are working out a deal to produce a film based on the recent PlayStation 3 exclusive game inFAMOUS, and THR reports that writer Sheldon Turner‘s (The Longest Yard, Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air) pitch to adapt the game has been bought by the studio. The game follows Cole McGrath, a bike messenger who is gifted with extraordinary electrical powers when he is caught at the epicenter of a bomb blast that destroys much of his hometown Empire City.
“What excited me most about the game was it was the first of which I’ve come across that had a big idea and a character arc,” Turner tells THR. “It is, I believe, the future of gaming. The game, while big and fun, is at its core a love ballad to the underachiever, which is what our hero, Cole McGrath, is.”
I don’t agree with that take at all. At it’s core, inFAMOUS is exactly like the original Marvel comics, with a few modern storytelling tropes thrown in. Cole faces the classic ‘great power = great responsibility’ equation, and the game allows players to rise or fall with respect to the moral imperative by taking good or evil routes through the game. They’re nudged by Cole’s former fiancee, who believes he’s responsible for the bomb blast and has to be convinced of Cole’s good nature and by a best friend that increasingly attempts to trade on Cole’s new fame as Empire City’s superpower.
There’s a lot more story here than in a game like Dead Space, and a twist worthy of M. Night Shyamalan that occurs towards the end. Visually, the hook of the game was the explosive electrical powers, odd mutant gangs that plauge Empire City and Cole’s parkour-like ability to scale walls and rooftops. There’s a lot of good action to put on screen, and the story is solid enough that this could be one of the better game-to-film adaptations.