Producer Avi Arad has will be on hand at Namco’s 30th birthday for Pac-Man on June 15th (during E3) “to make an announcement about the worldwide premiere of his newest Pac-Man project.” Of couse, “Pac-Man project” doesn’t necessarily mean big screen movie, but what else could it be?
Arad is a Hollywood producer — that’s what he does. He develops movie and television properties. At very least, the press release announcing the upcoming announcement is supposed to point us in that direction. Recently Avad has been vocal about how “Hollywood will do for video games what it has done for comic-book superheroes”. Of course, there is no evidence to support this theory.
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Sony has announced that they will be bringing a computer animated adaptation of Popeye to the big screen in 3D. The film will be released under the Sony Pictures Animation label, with Sony Pictures ImageWorks handling the computer animation. The real-look Popeye image above is probably far too scary for the animated film adaptation, but I’d much rather see a film featuring the character design of Rick Baker. At least that might be interesting.
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In 2007, we told you that producer Avi Arad was planning to make a movie based on the popular toy robot Robosapien. We didn’t think it would actually happen, but hey, this is the same guy who is responsible for Elektra, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider and the Bratz movie. And with the success of Michael Bay’s Transformers, everyone was trying to recapture the box office gold with toy to movie adaptations.
Well, yes, the movie is still happening. Actually its in post production. Quiet Earth points us to the production company website for Crystal Sky, which just released a movie poster and plot synopsis for the film, Robosapien Rebooted:
An inventor working for Kinetech Labs has designed a robot for search and rescue missions that has the ability to mimic human actions and emotions. After discovering that the robot’s advanced microchip is actually going to be used by Kinetech for military applications, the inventor programs the robot to flee, whereupon it is damaged. Twelve year old Henry finds the broken robot, fixes him up and names him Cody. With no memory of his past, Cody becomes Henry’s best friend, helping him win over his love interest, battle bullies and partake in some crazy fun. Cody quickly becomes a valuable part of Henry’s family as he helps them forge better relationships with one another, and even surprises them by remodeling their home.
All the while, both the inventor and Kinetech are searching for Cody. Finally located, Cody is taken home by the inventor, to Henry and his family’s dismay. Noting how upset Cody is to be apart from his new family, the inventor brings Cody back to Henry, where he meets Henry’s mom. It’s an instant love connection. Ultimately, one step behind, Kinetech kidnaps Henry’s mom and the inventor. It’s up to Henry and Cody to save their family and take down Kinetech once and for all. Produced By Avi Arad and Steven Paul, Screenplay By Max Botkin, Directed By Sean McNamara.
Wow, sounds like a disaster of 80′s movie proportions. Robosapien: Rebooted is scheduled to hit theaters in 2009.
Avi Arad has optioned the movie rights to Bioware’s sci-fi action role playing game Mass Effect.
In the game you play as an elite human soldier named Commander Shepard, who sets out to explore the Galaxy in the year 2183. Thirty-five years prior, humans discovered a technology built by an extinct alien race which has allowed them to break free of the solar system. But the galaxy is trapped in an endless cycle of extinction. Every 50,000 years, an ancient machine race invades the galaxy and wipes out all advanced organic civilizations.
The term Mass Effect, is described as “a newly discovered physics phenomenon that has properties along the lines of other physics forces such as gravity and electromagnetism.” In the game, certain creatures can manipulate the mass effect, much like electric eels can make use of electromagnetism. Humans can also get these abilities through prosthetics.
Avi Arad is best known as the producer of the Spider-Man films and Iron Man, but many forget that he was involved with some Marvel’s unspectacular film projects like Hulk, Elektra, Punisher, Fantastic Four, and Ghost Rider. Arad also produced the Bratz movie, Man-Thing, the upcoming Punisher: War Zone and a film based on the toy robot Robosapien. So I’m not convinced that the project is in the right hands with Arad. It all depends on which director is hired to bring the game to the big screen.
Bioware has said that the game is the first part of a trilogy, which gives a potential film adaptation franchise possibilities. I’ve never played the game as I have a strong affliction for role playing games, but the concept certainly sounds like it could be made into a fun sci-fi film. To give you a better idea of what the game is like, watch the game’s trailer below:
DreamWorks has acquired rights to the Japanese postcyberpunk manga Ghost in the Shell after Steven Spielberg took personal interest in the popular anime property. Variety reports that the studio plans to develop Shell into a 3D live-action feature-length film. Created by Masamune Shirow (Appleseed), Ghost in the Shell was first published in 1989 in Young Magazine. Over the years the manga has been adapted into three anime films, two anime television series, and three PlayStation video games.
According to Wikipedia, the futuristic police thriller follows the exploits of Motoko Kusanagi, a member of the covert operations section of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission, Section 9, which specializes in fighting technology-related crime. Kusanagi is capable of superhuman feats, and bionically specialized for her job – her body is almost completely mechanized; only her brain and a segment of her spinal cord are organic. I have never seen Ghost in the Shell, but the concept sounds like it could make a really cool live-action film.
And while Spielberg was instrumental on getting this project done at DreamWorks, he’s not attached to the project in any official capacity (at least as far as I can tell… may-be he’s executive producer?). Avi Arad, Ari Arad and Steven Paul will produce, and Street Kings screenwriter Jamie Moss has been hired to pen the adaptation.
I have included the movie trailer for Ghost in a Shell 2: Innocence below for your viewing pleasure.
[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/ghostshell2.flv 460 250]
Discuss: Are you excited fora live action 3D Ghost in the Shell movie? Who should direct?
Sony has hired 300 screenwriter Michael Gordon to pen an adaptation of the popular online role-playing game EverQuest. Former Marvel Studios head Avi Arad is producing the flick for Columbia Pictures.
Released on March 16, 1999, EverQuest became the most popular massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) before World of Warcraft took over the universe. At its peak, EverQuest had more than 450,000 paying subscribers.
In EverQuest, players create a character by selecting one of 14 ‘races’ in the game, which range from elves, dwarves and ogres of fantasy, to humans, to cat-people and lizard-people. Players also select their characters’ adventuring occupation (such as a wizard, ranger, or cleric – called a class – see below for particulars).
Players use their character to explore the fantasy world of Norrath, fight monsters and enemies for treasure and experience points, master trade skills. As they progress, players advance in level, gaining power, prestige, spells, and abilities through actions such as looting the remains of defeated enemies and doing quests. EverQuest also alows players to interact with other players through role-play, joining player guilds, and dueling other players.
So how would a big screen adaptation of EverQuest be any different from the scores of other movies which borrowed and stole from Dungeons and Dragons? I’m not quite sure. And hiring the guy that wrote 300 seems like a great move on the surface considering the popularity and success of that film. But I tend to believe that most people bought a ticket to Zack Snyder’s film because of the intense graphic novel-inspired visuals, and not the lackluster screenplay. And isn’t the movie destined to failure purely based on the fact that it is a video game adaptation?
A couple days back the internet became abuzz with the rumor that Hulk would be gray in The Incredible Hulk, starring Edward Norton. The rumor was started when producer Avi Arad told the genre room at the Spider-Man 3 junket that the new big screen Hulk would have a “new direction, new size, new color, new attitude.” When asked if that would mean that the Hulk would be gry in color, Avi responded: “Uh, we’ll see.” Much of the internet websites jumped on this speculative news and just ran with it. We told you that “that Marvel would keep Hulk green, but probably a less colorful shade of green.” We said that the comment was probably taken out of context. As it turns out, we were right.
Arad confirmed the following to Empire Magazine:
“It was a joke! Here’s what it was. There were 30 people around a table, and they said ‘is there going to be a grey Hulk?’ And I was thinking about it and I said, ‘who knows?’ It was one of those moments. I had just got back from Japan and I was trying to talk about Spider-Man and this guy was pushing me on The Hulk so I thought I’ll be coy. I don’t know what colour it is, and all of a sudden it’s headline news.”
So there you have it, the Hulk will be Green after-all.
Earlier this week we discovered that Edward Norton had been cast as Bruce Banner in the 2008 remake/re-do-over The Incredible Hulk. When our friends at FirstShowing asked producer Avi Arad is Hulk would look the same as Ang Lee’s 2003 film, he responded:
“None, no. It’s a new Hulk, new direction, new size, new color, new attitude. Anything that was done before is not in this movie. It’s a very different kind of Hulk. It’s more of a love story, it’s more of a heroic Hulk. It’s a kind of Hulk we loved in the show, so it’s kind of more influenced by the show than anything else. It’s very human, very touching, and huge action.”
When asked if that would mean that the Hulk would be gry in color, Avi responded: “Uh, we’ll see.”
So I’m guessing that Marvel will keep Hulk green, but probably a less colorful shade of green. I expect the effects in this film to be more realistic, darker, more natural than the first.
In the beginning, Hulk was gray, not green. Stan Lee’s original intention was to make him gray, but since the printers of that time (1962) did such a lousy job with that color, he decided to change it to green. The gray Hulk only appeared in the debut, and was “resurrected” many years later.
The producer also revealed at the Spider-Man 3 junket that Norton had in fact turned down the first 2003 film.
“So I guess second time around is more convincing.”
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