'Rampage' Director Brad Peyton Explains How You Adapt A Video Game With No Plot

Adapting a video game with no story must be simultaneously freeing and terrifying, a chance to use a few basic building blocks to tell the story you want to tell while also having no established foundation to build upon. Maybe that's why it has taken five years for a movie based on the 1986 arcade semi-classic Rampage to come together – giant monsters destroying cities is an inherently cinematic concept, but there is literally no story present here beyond "giant beasts punch skyscrapers into dust."

But Rampage is happening now and the ever-busy Dwayne Johnson is set to star, reuniting with his San Andreas director Brad Peyton. While production on the video game adaptation isn't set to begin until next year, Peyton is already answering questions about film. Specifically, how is this going to be a film at all?

We Got This Covered sat down with Peyton to talk about his new release, the demonic possession movie Incarnate, but he also spoke about what it's like to tackle an adaptation where the story has to be invented from the ground up:

With Rampage, we are using our love of the original game as our inspiration. Then we're going to build a movie, like San Andreas, that is really going to surprise people in what it delivers. It's going to be a lot more emotional, a lot scarier and a lot more real than you'd expect. So you look at that original concept about a lab that affects these animals and makes them rampage, and that's the nugget. If they called me tomorrow to do Call of Duty, I wouldn't want to play any of the Call of Duty games. I'd have to come up with something that deserves to be its own thing. That's where a lot of these movies can go wrong.

He also confirms that the film will feature the classic trio of monsters from the original game – a giant wolf, a giant gorilla, and a giant lizard.

I actually appreciate Peyton's candor here, especially since the realm of video game adaptations is filled with the corpses of movies that sounded good on paper but were completely lost in the leap to a new medium. Rampage is not sacred territory – it's a silly, barebones concept that has the potential to be expanded into something a little (or a lot) more interesting. While I wasn't the biggest fan of Peyton's San Andreas, he does have a knack for staging impressive chaos and destruction. Maybe a few giant monsters are the missing ingredient.

Rampage is currently set for an April 20, 2018 release date.